It has been a WHILE since I've posted some Local Flavor goodness. Tsk tsk. I've been reminded recently how many great places there are to eat and fun things there are to do in the Philly Suburbs. I really do live in an awesome part of the country!
So, I have NO excuse for not posting, because there is PLENTY to write about.
Today's Local Flavor highlight has been apart of my life for as long as I can remember. Now that Autumn is upon us, I find it completely appropriate to write up this venue. Moreover, they have some fun activities starting this weekend that will extend throughout the Fall.
Local Flavor Tuesday
~1000 Marshallton-Thorndale Road, West Chester, PA 19380~
I'm not even sure where to begin with this tucked-away treasure. Highland Orchards has 200+ acres in Chester County, PA, with many varieties of Pick-Your-Own (PYO) crops May through October (for the Highland Orchards PYO calendar, click HERE). If that is not enough to entice a visit, they also house an award-winning bakery, Farm Market and other services offered on the property.
For as long as I can remember, I have taken trips to pick my own Peaches and Apples at Highland Orchards. As a child, I'd pick off the low branches, unable to reach any higher. Now, I commission my husband to pick off the tippy-top of the tree, in hopes of the freshest fruit. There is something completely satisfying about heading out into the fields on a rickety truck, being dropped off for as long as I'd like, and roaming the rows of fruit trees in search of the perfect picks. Walking amid the crops, I can almost forget about my busy modern life, and enjoy the tranquility of nature and sustenance. By the end of our time, we are so weighed down with bags full of fruit, we can barely drag our harvest to the truck. Once we are back at the Market, we pay for what we've picked, but the fun doesn't stop there.
For me, Highland's fruit is not it's only draw. I love their Farm Market. And, to the best of my memory, it has not changed ONE BIT over the 27+ years I have been going there. There is something comforting in the familiarity of entering into the front of the rustic market. Inside, one is surrounded by fruit, vegetables, jams, jellies, preserves, and so much more. In the tiny store, I am tempted around every corner: sometimes it is a juicy peach that catches my eye; Other times, it is a homemade salsa or dressing. Highland Orchards Farm Market also makes (or allows you to make) a variety of Gift Baskets made up of their crops and wares, which have become one of my favorite presents to give on birthdays and holidays!
While my eyes are occupied with the sights, my nose is overtaken by the heart of the market: it's Bakery.
The Highland Orchards bakery has every pie, pastry, cookie and quick bread your imagination can conjure. The scent of good things baking washes over you the moment you step in. I've tasted plenty of their creations, each of them delectable in their own right, but only one treat has stood the test of time: Apple Cider Donuts. Friends, they are to DIE for. Having won "Best of Philly," you would be cheating yourselves by living an entire life without having tried Highland's Apple Cider Donuts. One of my favorite ways to spend an Autumn Saturday Morning is to drive out to Highland and pick up a dozen Apple Cider Donuts. They taste so amazing with tea or coffee, especially if you can catch them warm out of the oven!
With PYO fruit, a Market and Bakery, there is plenty to keep you occupied at Highland Orchards. Outside of the Market, there is a small pen of goats, a donkey and a llama to watch and feed. Tours and Hayrides are also available to patrons. A playground and picnic table complete the scene for a fun afternoon! TOTALLY fun (and educational) for kids!
If you are thinking of going out to Highland Orchards, consider coming on a weekend. Starting this Sunday, September 20, Highland Orchards will be welcoming Autumn with the Fall Apple Festival: Apple picking, hayrides, scarecrow building, a haymaze, Kids Korral and TONS of food. It kicks off this Sunday, 12pm-5pm, with fun activities every weekend to follow until October 31!
So, if you are looking for some tasty baked goods, the perfect gift, or something fun to do with your kids or some friends, Highland Orchards may be a fun place to check out. I guarantee it will become a new favorite!
For more info on Highland Orchards, check out their WEBSITE.