How you like them apples, Kinderhook?

By Alan Katz

Everyone has their very own favorite apple orchard in the mountains. Having three kids, we went to so many different venues over the years in Rockland, Orange and Sullivan Counties. Sometimes from New York City, sometimes from here in Columbia County. 

They all offer their variety of delicious apples and a fun afternoon of conquering the trees, carting the conquests to the check out and then getting to enjoy the room filling aromas and visuals in the various bowls around the house. (Because, like so many others, we always picked far too many apples).

We happened upon Golden Harvest in Kinderhook two decades ago. Some of the most delicious apples and inviting rows of orchards robust with fruit, and so much more. Most offer cider, here it’s rich and distinctly refreshing. Donuts from that cider are warm, sugary and especially delicious—firm and cakey. Flakey, just picked and baked fruit pies, including strawberry rhubarb and those muffins, particularly that orange cranberry walnut wonder. 

And over the past few years, one of the five sons of the second-generation owners have added a fantastic distillery—vodka, gin, brandy—made from surplus apples (of course) as well as cider vinegars and  locally curated beers on tap. And to top it all off, the other sons perfected a world class barbecue joint. What? Ribs, brisket, jerk chicken and awesome fresh-cut fries with a just spicy enough jerk seasoning. Yes, you can get them plain, too. 

So, our annual family apple picking adventure grew up with us and is now a full-service dining adventure. 

You can and will find your own favorite, but you’ll do yourself a favor to venture to Golden Harvest Farms/Harvest BBQ/Harvest Spirits. The triple threat right here in your own backyard. OK, my backyard…your mountains’ ideal fall pit stop.

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