Local Produce Highlight: Make the Most of Fall

By Siobhan DeRemer

It’s time to get outside and start picking (or just picking up) some fresh fall produce! It’s always best to buy fresh and buy local, so we’re here with some great local orchards, farms, and event recommendations to get you started. Be sure to check the websites or ask during your visit for great recipe ideas using your fresh finds!

Some Popular Produce in Season in the LV

Apples: Get your hands on solid and bruise-free apples; color isn’t necessarily a good indicator (especially since there are tons of varieties) but if it’s a red variety, be sure the apple is mostly red so it’s ripe enough and will taste its best

Pears: Same rule as apples, firm and clean (no spots), Barlett can be bought green because they will change color when ripe. Don’t get the mushy ones as they’re likely to be overripe. Don’t worry if you buy some pretty solid pears, you can ripen them for about 5-7 days and enjoy!

Pumpkins: Pick pumpkins that are orange all around (though green pumpkins are pretty great for pumpkin soup, so don’t ignore these if you find them!), sound hollow (don’t feel badly about thumping your pumpkin at the patch), and have a dried/twisted stem. Another good test is to use a fingernail to test the rind––if you can pierce the skin with your fingernail, it’s not ready.

Squash (summer and winter): No squish! Skin should be tough and not easily nicked.

Beets: Try and buy them with stems attached, the greens are just as yummy and can give you a good idea of how good the beets are (and how well they’ve been stored if applicable)

For more of what’s in season right now (there's a lot more), choose your state, month, and produce here. Fall is an incredible season for fruits and veggies and we’re super lucky in the Lehigh Valley to have so many local growers to choose from.

Where Can I Get It?

The Lehigh Valley has tons of locally owned and operated farms and orchards with farm stands, pick-your-own schedules, and fun activities for the whole family revolving around fresh produce. Grab your favorite sweater and boots (and maybe some warm apple cider) and get out there! These are just some of our favorites. For more options (including other activities around the Valley), check out Find & Go Seek.

Frecon Farms PYO

Pick-Your-Own Apples/Pears/Pumpkins/Raspberries until Oct. 30. They also have a great selection of homemade hard cider (try the Brix, it’s deliciously sweet but delightfully light). In addition to PYO, they have a small farm store that sells cheese, honey, and gourmet foods/local wines. Live music on Saturdays and Sundays and cooking classes offered during the week.

Location: 501 South Reading Avenue, Boyertown
Hours: Wed - Fri - 10 am - 5 pm; Sat: 9 am - 6 pm; Sun 9 am - 5 pm (PYO)

Mon - Fri - 9 am - 7pm; Sat: 9 am - 6 pm; Sun 10 am - 5 pm (Farm Store)

Strawberry Acres PYO

Pick-Your-Own Apples/Pumpkins/Gourds (weather permitting; their Facebook page is super up-to-date about opening/closing) until the harvest is picked out. Hayrides, petting zoo, kids’ activities, pony rides through the end of October. This farm, run since 1820, has a farm market and bakery on-site too for those who need a break from DIY pies. 

Location: 1767 Clearview Road, Coplay
Hours: Vary by weather, check Facebook/website/call hotline at 610-261-2323

Unangst Farms

PYO pumpkins off the vine in patch. Hayrides, corn maze, petting zoo, pony/horse rides all available on weekends, some of these activities are also available during the week. 

Location: 7317 Bethlehem-Bath Pike, Bath
Hours: Mon - Fri 12pm - 5pm; Sat - Sun 11am - 6pm

Grim’s Greenhouse

Conveniently located directly across from Clover Hill Winery (hit up both when you’re there!), you can PYO pumpkins and apples or just enjoy some homemade ice cream, food, and baked items fresh on-site at this massive farm perfect for all ages. The Fall Festival is happening until October 30 (10am - 6pm) featuring a corn maze, hayrides, barnyard animals, and flashlight maze nights.

Location: 9941 Schantz Road, Breinigsville
Hours: Separate activity hours vary, so be sure to check the website

Bechdolt’s Orchard

While this family-owned orchard and farm does not offer the option to pick your own fruits, they do have a wide range of items from their own harvest and that of local farms, making it a can’t-miss farmstand in the Lehigh Valley. As far as produce goes, their harvest calendar shows the availability of beets, apples, pears, eggplant, pumpkins, and freshly pressed apple cider, in addition to their year-round selection of honey, baked goods, and condiments (their salsas, apple butter, and ketchup are to die for).

Location: 2209 Leithsville Road/Route 412, Hellertown
Hours: Sun - Thu 8am - 6pm; Fri & Sat 8am - 7pm

Willow Haven Farm

This little organic farm in New Tripoli is making strides in the Valley for fresh produce and their presence at local farmers’ markets. They also offer a CSA opportunity for delivery all around the Lehigh Valley. Their harvest may be limited, so it might be best to call before visiting to see what they have in stock and then pay them a visit (and meet the animals when you’re there!). Some feature items they carry in addition to produce is organic sourdough bread, organic pastured chickens, organic pastured pork, eggs, and grass-fed beef/lamb.

Location: 7686 Herber Road, New Tripoli
Hours: Call 610-298-2197 ahead of time for up-to-date hours

Gogle Farms

Only 10 miles north of Allentown, you can PYO apples, pumpkins, and squash here (with pre-picked selections available, too). There are hayrides available to the pumpkin patch and some pumpkins are organized by “face size” for the perfect jack-o’-lantern result.

Location: 5017 Mulberry Street, Coplay
Hours: Weekends only, 9am - 5pm

Red Cat Farm

Perhaps best known (at local farmers’ markets) for their signature organic wheat flour, this tiny farm of less than an acre just north of New Tripoli has tons of fresh herbs, greens, berries––and so much more. While they only have web presence on Facebook, a visit to the farm is a worthwhile trip and may be a great addition to a multi-farm trip to the area. 

Location: 6113 Memorial Road, Germansville
Call 610-767-2519 or visit their Facebook page for available items and visiting hours.

Savidge Farms

While this farm only has pumpkins (and a few gourds) to offer in their PYO selection, it’s a top-rated spot for kids, especially while the Autumn Adventure is underway. Take a hayride, navigate the corn maze, visit the emus, cows, and pigs, or enjoy a horse drawn wagon ride through the fall leaves. It’s a bit of a drive from the immediate Lehigh Valley, but if you’re on the way to Frecon Farms to pick up some hard cider, this one’s right on the way!

Location: 1710 State Street, Mertztown
Hours: Wed - Fri 11am - 6pm; Sat 10am - 5pm; Sun 11am - 5pm