Find out the best time of year to pick your own Cortland apples. The times are based on different orchards across the country.
Some apple varieties have a cult following. They are ones that people will seek out and drive to pick themselves. Cortland apples are one of those varieties.
Why do people love them? People enjoy their juiciness and their sweet/tart flavor. They have qualities that are similar to a McIntosh. Some people say they have a wine like quality to the flavor.
The apple is a favorite with a close friend. We went picking them last year but it was a little bit past their prime. The apples were as crisp as we would have liked.
So it's important to know when to pick them as I have found it to be hard to find one that are consistently good. I am going to help stir you to when to pick them and give you some options of orchards you can find them at.
🏆 Best Time to Pick
The most likely time you are going to get Cortland apples is mid to late September in most areas. They lose their crispiness and flavor not long after being picked, so they are best enjoyed as fresh off the trees as you can get them.
📅 Estimated Times at Different Orchards
I researched many orchards across the country to see when they pick their Cortland apples. All dates depend on the season, sometimes they are earlier and sometimes later.
|Wasem Fruit Farm (Milan, MI)||Sept 16|
|Oakview Farm and Greenhouse (Kingsport, Nova Scotia)||Oct 4|
|Apple Holler (Sturtevant, WI)||Early October|
|All Seasons Orchard (Woodstock, IL)||mid Sept|
|Tougas Family Farm (Northborough, MA)||mid Sept|
|Hillside Acres (Rossville, IN)||early-mid Sept|
|County Line Orchard (Hobart, IN)||late Sept|
|Keller's Farmstand (Naperville, IL)||mid Sept|
|Lynd Fruit Farm (Pataskala, OH)||Sept 13|
|Beak & Skiff (Lafayette, NY)||late Sept|
|Tanners Orchard (Speer, IL)||early Sept|
|Owen Orchard (Weedsport, NY)||mid Sept|
|Soons Orchard (New Hampton, NY)||Sept 23|
|Wilson's Orchard (Iowa City, IA)||early-mid Sept|
|Rittman Orchards (Doylestown, OH)||Sept 17|
|Tuttle Orchards (Greenfield, IN)||2nd week of Sept|
|Appleland Farm Market (Fredonia, WI)||mid Sept|
|Hope Orchards (Hope. ME)||late Sept|
|Lyman Orchards (Middlefield, CT)||Sept 15|
|Sky Top Orchard (Zirconia, NC)||late Aug-early Sept|
Most of these dates are in mid September. If the orchard is further north like in Nova Scotia, Canada you are looking more at early October. Down in North Carolina they can be available even as early as late August to early September.
I found that the apple is easiest to find in New York and in the Midwest.
Did You Know? - Cortland apples are very slow to brown, making them one of the best apples to use in a salad.
🏆 U-Pick Apples Tips
When you head out to the u-pick apple orchard to pick your own Cortland apples, here are some tips.
- If you are allowed, taste the apples before you pick alot of them. The apples hold on the tree well even pass their optimal flavor.
- Avoid picking Cortland apples that feel greasy. This is a sign they are overripe.
- To pick the apple, grab the apple from the middle of the bottom of the apple and twist upwards. A ripe apple will come off without much trouble.
Since these apples are best when picked, it's also best to put them in the fridge when you bring them home.
🎧 Listen to our podcast episode on How to Know When Apples are Perfect
🍎 Other Apple Varieties You Might Like
If you are a fan of Cortland apples, here are some other apples you could try out:
All of these varieties also appear on my list of Best Substitutes for McIntosh apples.