Pick your own apples among 500 acres of orchards

You forget just how good an apple is supposed to taste until you take a bite out of one picked fresh off the tree.

I recently sank my teeth into a crisp Gala apple while picking a bag for my family at Lynd Fruit Farm in Pataskala, east of Columbus. The apple was crisp and sweet and reminded me why everyone is so gung-ho about pick-your-own farms.

My daughter, Rosie, and I pulled into the crowded parking lot at Lynd’s, 9090 Morse Rd., one recent Sunday afternoon. The market offers a variety of fruits, vegetables and fresh-baked goods. They had lots of pumpkins and Halloween crafts, too.

I asked for crisp apples to munch on, and one of Lynd’s employees told me to drive a quarter mile down the street and turn in a driveway. We came to a brown barn, then followed the arrows into the orchard. Our available bounty was Gala and Golden Supreme apples, both sweet, firm and juicy.

Lynd’s goes back seven generations, offering 500 acres of orchards with a dozen varieties of apples for the public to pick from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Fridays through Sundays. Lynd’s also sells apples to Kroger and Wal-Mart. The public picking runs from early September to early November and typically includes a dozen varieties.

We paid $16 for a 20 lb. bag. Lynd’s takes credit cards as well as cash. We took our time, filled the bag and paid as we left. An employee said you can sample apples as you pick them.

We drove down a dirt road past rows and rows of apple trees. Ones available for picking were designated by colored tape strung from tree limbs at each row’s entry. We chose a row where the trees were plump with apples. The trees were a little taller than me, so I could reach the apples at the top, while Rosie picked apples toward the bottom. We both selected the prettiest apple we could find, and took a bite. They were warm, crisp and delicious.

We filled our bag in no time, then took some extra time wandering through the orchard. Rosie relished in running down the long paths between rows of trees. It was less worrisome than her taking off in a department store.

I enjoyed the freedom of being in the open air amid nature’s bounty.

Lynd Fruit Farm is located at 9090 Morse Rd., Pataskala. For more information, visit www.lyndfruitfarm.com.

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