On Saturday, September 10, some Concord Academy students went apple picking at Honey Pot Hill Orchard. There, they could pick seven kinds of apples: McIntosh, Sansa, Akane, Honeycrisp, Smitten, Ginger Gold, and Gravenstein. These varieties of apples cover a broad range of uses, from cooking to eating. McIntosh and Honeycrisp, however, are generally considered to be the most versatile two types of apples.

McIntosh apples have a spice-like flavor. Their sweet and tart flavor makes them good for almost everything. They contain lots of juice, meaning they are an excellent choice for making apple juice and apple cider. Surprisingly, they are also good apples for baking, as they take less time to cook as other apples. Their tart flavor makes them excellent to contrast sweet desserts.

Honeycrisp apples have a sweet flavor and a well-balanced crunch. They feel simultaneously crisper and juicier than most other apples because they were bred to have bigger cells than most other apples. When bitten into, these special cells burst, giving the apple its signature, crisp, clean, and cold sweetness. Similar to McIntosh, these apples are good for many uses. While their genetic profile makes them excellent for eating, they can also be used to make applesauce, pies, tarts, and crisps. Honeycrisps are especially good for making apple pie, as they are firm enough to hold up during baking.

Apple picking season spans from late July to early November, with different kinds of apples peaking at different times. September was the best month to go apple picking, when the greatest variety of apples and largest amounts of apples was available. But weather, such as droughts or extreme heat or cold can shorten this season. If we have an extremely hot July and August, apple picking season may start further into August. Similarly, if we have an extremely cold October and November, it may end earlier. Heavy rain may also affect how many people wish to go apple picking. CA’s original apple picking trip was canceled due to rain, and it was rescheduled for the next weekend. This time it was a huge success, and we’re hoping CA will go on many more apple picking trips in the future.