Enjoy Fall Fun and Great Apples at This Lovely Orchard in Southern New Jersey
Hill Creek Farms offers pick-your-own apples, as well as a novel system for leasing specific trees for a year.
Hill Creek Farms is a relatively new apple orchard which opened to the public this season on September 14, 2010 in Mullica Hill, New Jersey. This orchard features popular activities such as pick-your-own apples and hay rides, along with a novel membership system where visitors can lease three trees for their exclusive use and picking for an entire year. With its large farmers market and regular events for children and families, Hill Creek Farms is a great place to visit in the fall in Southern New Jersey.
Hill Creek Farms currently grows three varieties of apples, allowing for picking season to run from early September into November as each reaches full ripeness. First come the Jonagolds in early to mid-September. Next up are the Cameos, which are ready in late September into mid-October. Finally the Autumn Rose Fuji apples come into ripeness, ready to be picked into the month of November. The farm remains open to the public until the last of the Fuji apples are picked. In the future, Hill Creek Farms plans to offer up to 12 varieties of apples on its 20 acres of land, giving it one of the larger selections of different kinds of apples in the area. Their trees are all dwarf varieties, cultivated using “vertical axis apple planting.” This makes them easy to be picked by visitors while bearing plentiful fruit.
If you visit Hill Creek Farms to go apple-picking, you will be given a basket and get to enjoy a leisurely hayride through the orchard as you are taken to an area of trees. Each of the three varieties is color tagged, and a farm employee will explain which type of apple is ready to be picked, and what to look for in a good, ripe apple. You can walk around through the trees and pick at your leisure until ready to be returned to the farm market. There you can sample apple cider, shop for other locally-grown fruits and vegetables, and then have your picked apples weighed and priced.
For those interested in leasing a set of trees for the year, three side-by-side apple trees, one of each variety, can be yours for a membership price of $175. Your trees are pruned and cared for by Hill Creek Farms, and you can come and go as often as you like during picking season to collect apples from your trees. For those with large families or who enjoy cooking and baking with apples, this can be a great deal and a wonderful investment, supporting local farming.
Regular activities take place at Hill Creek Farms throughout the apple picking season. A family fun day was held on October 17, 2010, with activities and games for adults and children alike. The Farm is also available for birthday and family parties, and offers a free program for school classrooms that would like to teach children about apples and farming.
Hill Creek Farms is a great place to visit for a fun fall afternoon with family and friends. You can make a day of it by then stopping in nearby Mullica Hill, New Jersey, with its quaint boutiques and antique shops. Or head further south into Woodstown and Salem County. Either way it’s a beautiful, rural section of New Jersey that is lovely to explore, especially in late summer into autumn – and with plentiful bags of delicious apples in tow!
Hill Creek Farms
1631 Route 45
Mullica Hill, New Jersey 08062
(856) 223-0028Hours: Tuesday – Sunday, 9:00a.m. – 5:00p.m., throughout the apple harvesting season.