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Down on the Farm

It’s Harvest Time at local Farms. Head out to the country for Pick-Your-Own Apples and Peaches, fresh local produce, and FamilyFun.

Apple picking is a late summer FamilyFun tradition. Get away from the chaos of daily life and spend the day in the sunshine of a local farm picking fresh apples off of trees. Then head to the farm market and grab some veggies for dinner, all picked that day.

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Pick-Your-Own Etiquette

Please follow picking etiquette. This means if you pick it and drop it, pick it back up and put it in your bag. Don’t leave it to rot. You should clean the fruit before you eat it anyway. If there is more than one apple on a stem you have to take all of those apples. Do not pick smaller, under-ripe fruit. No eating while picking. Do not overfill your bag. Do not pick fruit and put them in your pockets, purses, or anywhere else. All picked fruit should go into the bag. To pick fruit, hold onto the fruit and twist gently to remove it from the tree.

Fruit picking is often on rough terrain with hills, grass, and uneven ground. It also involves walking. Wear comfortable clothing and appropriate footwear. There are often bees around the fruit trees doing their work. Do not kill the bees – we don’t have enough of them as it is. Just calmly walk away. It usually takes about a half an hour to pick a peck but it could be longer. Think of using sunscreen on your little ones. There are no bathrooms in the orchards. Make sure you go before you pick as it may take some time to get back to home base. Some farms have port-a-pots available.

Simmons Farm

Simmons Farm has Pick-Your-Own Apples  and Flowers daily. Fuji, Empire, Jonagold, and and Cameo are available right now. There may not be fruit available everyday so make sure you call ahead at 724-941-1790.

The apple orchards available for picking each day are marked. Head to the Farm Market, pay for a bag and head out to the orchard. Bag sizes are ½ peck for $8.00, peck for $13.00, ½ bushel is $20.00, and a full bushel is $36.00. Every person over the age of 16 must buy at least a half peck. Children under 16 do not have to buy their own picking bag but they must be accompanied by an adult over 16. FamilyFunPittsburgh usually gets the half peck bags for every person, including the kids. A half peck can hold around a dozen apples. New this year is the rule that any “overstuffed bags” will be charged extra.

The fruit is low enough for even the younger children to pick. The closer trees are often over-picked so head farther into the orchard to get more variety. Simmons grows twelve varieties of apples. Look here http://www.simmonsfarm.com/appledetails.html for details. Not all varieties are available at the same time. Check with the Farm before you head out if you want a specific variety of apple.

Fruit picking hours are 1000AM-500PM Monday through Saturday and 1000AM – 300PM on Sunday. Weekends and evenings tend to be busier than weekdays.

FamilyFunPitsburgh likes to take our time apple-picking. No bags are allowed in the orchard so this is a perfect electronics-free zone for enjoying each other and the beautiful farm surroundings.

Simmons also has a unique Pick-Your-Own opportunity – flowers! Stop by the Farm Market and pick up a bucket and a pair of scissors. A bucket of flowers costs $10 and you have to make an additional $5.00 deposit for the use of the bucket and the scissors. Head out to the flower fields and pick your own flowers. Once you have filled up the bucket, return to the Market, hand in your bucket and scissors, and get your $5.00 deposit back while your flowers are wrapped for you. Everyone 16 and older has to pay for their own bucket to enter the fields. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Buckets are $12.00 each. Cut-your-Own Flowers is open Monday through Saturday 1000AM-500PM and Sunday 1000AM-300PM. The fall activity area near the fields is closed but pickers do have access to the petting zoo.

Simmons Farm Market has farm-grown crops including tomatoes, corn, zucchini, squash, cucumbers, carrots, peppers, and more! They also have fresh-baked pies and cookies and other goodies.

Simmons is located in Peters Township, south of the City. Simmons Farm is located at 170 Simmons Farm Road, McMurray, PA 15317 / 724-941-1490/ http://www.simmonsfarm.com/home.html

Triple B Farms

Triple Farms has Pick-Your-Own Apples on Saturdays and Sundays from 1000AM-500PM and Monday September 3rd from 1000AM – 300PM. Triple B has ten varieties of apples available at different times during the picking season. Right now you can pick Cortland and Jonagold but call Triple B at 724-258-3557 to see what is available before you go. Triple B sells bags for picking – $12.00 for a peck and $20 for a half bushel. A peck will be around two dozen apples. Head to Triple B, purchase your picking bag, and head out to the orchards for a FamilyFun day out in the country. (See above for Picking Etiquette.)

Triple B also has a cornucopia of fresh, farm-grown produce. If you can’t make it out to the Orchards, you can pick up apples at the Farm Market. Fresh peaches are still available though it is getting near the end of peach season. Yellow peaches are $1.99 a pound or $10.50 for a 4-quart basket. Farm-grown tomatoes are $1.99 a pound or $3.00 a quart. Bi-color corn is still available at $6.00 a dozen, $3.25 a half dozen. Triple B has peppers, zucchini, cucumbers, pickling cucumbers, cabbage, and hot peppers.

The Triple B bakery has pies featuring the current season’s fruit – peach and apple. There are also cookies, muffins, and other delicious baked goods.

Triple B has a Tent Sale on weekends from 1000AM-200PM with half-priced products.

The Triple B Farm Market is open Monday through Friday 900AM-600PM and Saturday and Sunday 900AM-500PM. Activities and Pick-Your-Own have different hours.

Triple B Farms is to the south of the city, off of Route 51. The address is 823 Berry Lane, Monongahela, PA, 15063 / 724-258-3557 / http://www.triplebfarms.com/index.html

Soergel Orchards

Soergel Orchards, to the North of the City, does not have Pick-Your-Own but they do have plenty of farm-fresh produce in their Farm Market.

Current crops at Soergels include freshly picked peaches, peppers, corn, eggplant, beans, watermelon, and cantaloupe. Chambersburg peaches, plums, and nectarines are also available. More crops come in daily so check out what they have by calling 724-935-1743.

Soergel’s bakeries have pies, cakes, cookies, and more. Soergel’s Deli has all of the lunch meat, cheese, and salads you would want but they also offer hot foods for breakfast and lunch. Start the day off right with a Soergel’s breakfast sandwich, bagels, and muffins or a freshly-made breakfast roll-up with a variety of stuffings. Breakfast is served starting at 800AM. Soergel has a daily lunch special starting at 1100AM. Mondays through Fridays they have Panini sandwiches and soups for lunch too.

Soergel Scoops is an ice cream shop serving up ice cream, milkshakes, sundaes, and more.

Soergel has a Wine Shop, a Gift Shop, Home Shop, and a Garden Center.

The last of the Soergel Summer Corn Roasts is this Sunday, August 26th from 1100AM-300PM.

Soergel Orchards are located at 2573 Brandt School Road, Wexford PA 15090. Telephone: 724-935-1743 / https://www.soergels.com/

Trax Farms

Trax Farms does not have Pick-Your-Own but they do have a lot of fresh produce grown on the vast Trax Farms. Right now, Trax has farm-grown peaches and the apples are starting to come in. Trax Farm Corn is still available. You can also pick up farm-grown tomatoes, peppers, cabbages, zucchini, squash, and more. Trax has supplies for canning and freezing your produce.

Trax Farms is on Route 88 in the South Hills, near Bethel Park and Finleyville. Trax Farms also has a large farm market with fresh produce, a deli, a bakery, and food. They have an expansive home lifestyle market and garden center too. There is a small playground in the garden center with three slides, a climbing rope, and a rock wall. Bathrooms are inside the Market, next to the deli. There is a baby changing station in both the men’s and women’s bathrooms.

Trax Farms is located at 528 Trax Road, Finleyville, PA 15332/ 412-835-3246 / http://www.traxfarms.com/

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