Apple Pickin’

    These family-owned farms have been around for generations.
    The Moelkers grow 21 different varieties of apples in their orchard. Photo by iStock

    When the weather gets crisp and the leaves start to turn, many West Michiganders feel the itch to head to one of the region’s numerous farms and orchards.

    With apple-picking season almost upon us, there are plenty of West Michigan family-owned orchards that have helped celebrate fall for generations, all of which are worth a visit.

    Robinette’s Apple Haus & Winery

    Robinette’s provides West Michigan with a 125-acre orchard, a winery, and a retail shop full of baked goods, fruits, cider and more. The local staple, 3142 Four Mile Road NE, has been family-owned and operated since 1911 and is open all year.

    The farm grows more than 40 varieties
    of apples, along with cherries, apricots, peaches and nectarines. Beyond its apples, donuts and cider, Robinette’s also offers a wide variety of activities, including a 6.5- acre corn maze from Labor Day to early November and hayrides that run Thursday through Saturday in the fall for a more laid- back Robinette’s adventure.

    Moelker Orchards & Farm Market

    Located on the west side of Grand Rapids at 9265 Kenowa Ave. SW, Moelker Orchards & Farm Market opened in 1907 and has been family-owned and -operated since then. The farm grows a variety of fruits, such as apples, cherries, peaches, pumpkins, pears and plums.

    Visitors can pick their pumpkins and apples each fall. In September, story time at the orchard gives children under the age of 5 and their parents the opportunity to learn about the farm through stories and a short

    tour. On Saturdays throughout October, horse-drawn hayrides provide fun for all ages. The Old Bell Bakery at the Moelker Farm Market reopened in August and offers an array of sweet treats.

    Ed Dunneback and Girls Farm Market

    For nearly 100 years, Ed Dunneback and Girls Farm Market, 3025 Six Mile Road NW in Alpine Township, has been family-owned and -operated.

    The farm offers U-pick for many fruits and vegetables when they are in season, including apples, strawberries, cherries, pumpkins and asparagus. The barn that

    hosted countless barn dances and weddings throughout the years now is home to the farm market, which offers an expansive selection of produce.

    Along with the fresh market, the historic barn houses the gift shop, bakery, kitchen and taproom. The barn’s kitchen serves guests a full menu of pizzas, tacos, pasta, sandwiches and more. Since opening, music has been a vital part of the farm’s atmosphere. The farm features live music and in the fall, an 8-acre corn maze combined with a customizable trivia component provides a twist on a classic fall adventure.

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