The orchard and farm have been a favorite of my family for years. The opportunity to pick and play in the crisp autumn air is one my kids never seem to tire of, and out-of-town guests have raved about the experience.
The original owners Dorie and John Belisle opened their farm to the public starting in 2002, after having started as a wholesale orchard. In 2012, they opened their farm market and bistro, which is open year-round. In the fall of 2018 The Abel family took over operations at Bellewood. The Abels have continued to expand their offerings to entertain and educate on the farm, including live entertainment on weekends during the summer and fall.
Some of the fun fall events at Bellewood Farms includes “Farm Tunes” from August-September every Friday with live music on the patio, “Harvest Happens” from September-October with farm tours, live music, train rides and more.
Anytime during harvest season, you can hop aboard the Apple Bin Express to ride out to the orchard or rent one of three golf carts ($10) to explore the orchards as well as the rest of the farm.
Once there, you’ll be directed to the rows of apples open for picking that day. (You prepay for the number of bags and the variety you want to pick.)
It doesn’t take long to pick your fill of beautiful, ripe apples, but there’s plenty more to do on the farm.
Nearby, discover the cooling and packing facility, where you can watch as the apples are washed and packed. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch the action in the juicing building or the commercial kitchen, where they make items such as pies and jams.
One of the harvest-time favorites, introduced in 2014, is the corn cannons. Aim the cannons to shoot ears of corn toward large tire targets in the field. A close second is Bellewood’s corn maze.
After a romp around the farm, stop by the bistro for another perennial favorite: the fresh apple cider doughnuts. Or a slice of pie, or maybe an apple turnover. It’s agony for me every time I visit – what to choose?
One of the best parts of a visit to Bellewood Farms is that it doesn’t have to cost a lot. Take the stream walk along 10 Mile Creek, which intersects the farm, and see if you can spot a fish in the salmon-bearing stream. My kids always have fun on the playground constructed solely of old tires.
As much as I love family time at Bellewood, I’m eagerly awaiting a chance for the grown-ups to get an afternoon to take the distillery tour. The distillery opened 2012 along with the new farm store.
For a full schedule of events and the apple-ripening calendar, visit BellewoodFarms.com.
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