Published on October 1st, 2012 | by Shellie Ward
BJ Reece Apple Farm
One lazy Sunday afternoon, the girls and I played hookie from church and drove to Ellijay, GA to pick our own apples at BJ Reece Apple House. This activity was something none of us had ever done.
I used Field Trips with Sue to locate the apple farms around the Atlanta area. I narrowed it down to the apple farms in Ellijay because there a couple to choose from. I called each of the farms to get more details and chose BJ’s Reece because there was an a la carte option. The other apple farm had a “festival” fee plus pick your own apples, and I just wasn’t interested in hayrides for this trip.
As we started on our journey, I decided to use GPS to get us there. The website said it should take an hour and a half……not so much when you use the Tom Tom. Admittedly, I haven’t updated the maps on my Tom Tom EVER, but jeeesh! It had us on dirt roads in the middle of trees, on top of mountains. For the sake of the girls, I had to put on my game face, but I was frustrated, nervous, and almost turned around to go back home! The girls caught on to it too.
“Mom, are we lost?”
“Are we there yet?”
“Let’s just go home.”
and my responses,
“no honey, the GPS will get us there”
“take a nap”
“20 more minutes”
When we ended up on top of a mountain in a residential neighborhood, (which was the second or third time around), I saw someone come out of there home, so I asked for directions…..
She took us down the mountain swung a left and right and a mile later we were there! At that point, I was already drained.
I parked the car, took a few deep breaths, and the girls were ready to go! I made everyone use the bathroom first because knowing my luck we will get deep into the farm and one will say, “I’ve gotta potty!”
After we went through the main entrance, we saw signs that identified the types of apples. I like crispy sweet apples, so I was advised to go for the Granny Smith and the Golden Delicious apples. We searched for the best looking apples, but being very careful not to disturb the bees. I had on flip flops and slipped on a few spoiled apples on the ground. I was holding the camera, camcorder, the apple bag, and Harley wanted me to pick her up because she “tiiiiirrrreeeddd”.
We heard explosives, and I remembered that they had an apple cannon. We followed the loud sound, and saw folks shooting apples out of a gun mechanism. Harley immediately backed up. She wanted nothing to do with it. Haven asked me to go first. The goal was to shoot the apple out of the cannon and hit a target. By my third shot, I made a basket and won a rock candy. Haven went up next, and although she was close, it didn’t go in.
We picked apples for about another 45 minutes (Harley ate 3 apples while we picked).,We went to the apple store to claim my prize and indulge in some fresh apple snacks. We drank apple smoothies, and browsed the store.
I decided to ask for directions to get back to Atlanta, rather than rely on the GPS and end up in a corn field.
The stuff you need to know before you go……
- Check out the blogs to see your options for farms.
- Check to see if the farms accept debit/ credit cards because if they don’t you’ll have to find an ATM in the country!
- Usually the farms have great directions on how to get there from a major city.
- Since apple season is in late summer, afternoons are a great time to go. It’s not too hot.
- Wear sneakers, because there is a lot of walking and the apples on the ground can be slippery.
- There are package deals so for one price, you can do all that the farm has to offer.
- I always like to have water in my backpack for keeping us hydrated.