It's Apple Season in Northwest Arkansas
Fall is here, and that beautiful weather brings with it a desire to embrace all things fall. Corn mazes beckon and the apple harvest is in full swing. Though Northwest Arkansas used to be the center of apple production in the state, orchards have been replaced by homes and businesses, making it difficult to find orchards still in existence today.
Apple lovers, rejoice. There are still plenty of opportunities to find fresh apples in Northwest Arkansas, and if you're willing to take a road trip, you can even pick your own.
Northwest Arkansas Fruit Stands
Northwest Arkansas has some excellent fruit sellers. Visit the one nearest you for great local produce, including Arkansas apples.
Vanzant Fruit Farms have sold apples and other produce from their farm since 1949. They have a great market stand with several varieties of locally grown apples available. Their cute market store is easily accessible at 3705 E Highway 264 in Lowell. Find them on Facebook or check vanzantfruitfarms.com for more information.
Ranalli Farms is another wonderful, family-owned farm that has operated in Springdale since 1923. Their market stand carries several varieties of apples and a large selction of other local produce and baked goods. They also have flowers and a fun pumpkin patch. Visit Ranalli farms at 2122 W Henri de Tonti Blvd in Springdale and find them on Facebook or ranallifarms.com.
The Apple Town Fruit Market & Cider Saloon is the first building to greet you as you follow Highway 62 into Lincoln, once the center of the apple industry in Northwest Arkansas. Lincoln commemorates their role in the apple business every year with the Arkansas Apple Festival held the first weekend in October. While you can find plenty of apples at the festival, you can also visit Apple Town any time during the fall and find a wide selection of apples, apple cider and other apple products available.
Gay & Sons Orchards
You can find Gay & Sons fruit stand just off Highway 412 east of Springdale. They provide apples and a wide selection of Arkansas made products perfect to fill your pantry for autumn baking and munching. No credit cards are accepted here so bring cash or a check and chat it up with owner Eddie Gay. Find them on Facebook at Gay & Sons Orchards.
Pick Your Own Apples
Even though NWA was once the hub for apples, finding orchards now can be difficult. For those of you who want to pick your own apples straight from the orchard, pack a picnic lunch and plan to drive a little further down the road to Cox Berry Farm. Cox Berry Farm is a small family farm just north of Clarksville. They welcome families to pick from their apple orchard, bring a picnic lunch and take a walk through their Pumpkin Trail if you visit in October. Call ahead to confirm availability of apples if you're traveling from Northwest Arkansas. This year the apple crops were slightly damaged, so prices are half off. The apples are still great for cutting up for canning and baking. Find Cox Berry Farm on Facebook and at coxberryfarm.com.
Now that you have your apples, what do you do with them? Northwest Arkansas food blogger Debbie Arnold has some ideas on her blog, Dining with Debbie. Try her slow cooker spiced apple butter recipe made from Arkansas Black Apples, or the walnut apple cinnamon bread. Debbie's fresh apple cake with brown sugar-buttermilk glaze will get your mouth watering and fill your home with the spicy scents of autumn.
Make Northwest Arkansas apples part of your fall celebration and enjoy the smells and tastes of the season!