I was growing up in a small village in a south-west part of Poland. Over there everybody has their own garden with plenty of various fruit trees in there. Since I was little I knew how fruits and vegetables end up on our table. To my surprise when I came to the Netherlands one of my new friends thought strawberries are being grown on trees. Soon enough I also discovered that not everybody knows where apples and pears come from on their way to the supermarket shelf.
One of lazy autumn afternoons I thought that maybe it would be nice to go to the orchard to pick up some apples for an apple pie instead of just doing it easy way and go to the shop around the corner. I found this place in the area of Lisse where everybody is free to pick up apples and pears right from the trees. It is not that far away from where we live so we put on our heavy duty walking shoes, pack a bag, some cash and set our navigation for an orchard “Landgoed De Olmenhorst”.
It is a perfect place for adults and kids alike, although with a bit more activities for the little ones. You can also take your dogs, but there is not much fun for them unless they are happy with only being outside with you and your family. The orchard is quite big but do not expect wandering around for a kilometres in between trees. There is also a local shop, restaurant, quite big playground and various workshops for kids.
After you are done cruising around it is time to do some fruit picking. There are clear signs where should you go if you want to pick up apples and where if you are there for pears. If you are not really convinced what type of apples are your favourite ones you can also try a sample and get an advice from an information point. We have seen only one type of pears that was probably a reason why no such an information exist about those fruit.
Now for more practical information: although playground, shop and restaurant are open all year round be aware that picking up apples and pears is purely autumn activity. Somewhere I have also found a nice sentence stating that it is up to nature what can be picked at the particular day, sometimes it could be pears, sometimes apples and sometimes both. Parking costs €3 for a day but unless you plan to stay the whole day with your kids at the playground or pick up few hundreds kilos of apples you will probably stay there an hour or two. Fruits cost €1.95 per kilo and there is no limit how much do you want to buy. I am not sure how will they react if you try to buy few hundreds kilos, but you never know maybe they will give you a special price ;). Wandering around is free (except the parking costs of course, unless you came on foot or by bike). If you want to find out more about this place be sure to click here. Oh, and all fruits in the orchard are organic.
For me it was first time going to such a big orchard and picking up apples and pears in such a place. I must admit I really enjoyed going back to nature and picking up fruits from the ground or directly from the tree. Did you ever go to such a place? And if not maybe it is a great idea to spend one of your autumn days in an orchard. Just another activity to discover. Be sure to share your thoughts with me.