Indian Ladder Farms (Altamont, NY)

Shed next to the orchards where we bought our bags

Last year I blogged about “Apple Pickin’ Time”, and that time is upon us again. Actually, it’s almost mid-October and apple picking time is just about over, but thanks to an seasonably warm past week or so (*cough*globalwarming*cough*) the apple season seems to have been temporarily extended. So, I went this past Saturday to Indian Ladder Farms, not too far from where I live in Albany, NY.

I feel weird complaining about beautiful weather, but it was sooo HOT. It almost didn’t feel right. When you go apple picking you are supposed to be in a hoodie, maybe gloves & a scarf. I wore a long sleeve shirt and was rolling it up minutes into apple picking.

Aside from not feeling like I was in the proper attire, our trip to Indian Ladder was pretty much a success. Last year I went to Bowman Orchards, which was good, but you might recall I wasn’t a huge fan of the setup. I would say that Indian Ladder had almost as many people as were at Bowman’s last year, but it didn’t feel as crowded because the layout is more open. Note: if you plan on picking your own apples, which I’m assuming you are, pay attention to the signs telling you where to park. I was ignorant of such signs and insisted upon following my GPS, and parked in the shop only parking lot. Oops.

Indian Ladder sells half-bushel bags for $14, I guess that is reasonable…I really have no idea. I didn’t see, nor was I offered, any smaller sizes or different options, so I guess you get what you get. Don’t try to be environmentally friendly and BYOB (Bring Your Own Bag), because they do not weigh bags and therefore do not allow you to fill a bag you bring.

Where we were picking they only had two varieties, empire and kendall, which was a little disappointing. I like variety. At another spot in the farm they were also selling jonagolds, but no one told us that until we were picking pumpkins…so we didn’t get any of those. The benefit of Bowman’s last year was definitely the wide variety they offered.

I did like that Indian Ladder had specific sections for us to pick in, which meant that the sections open to us had an abundance of apples

Kendall apples at Indian Ladder Farms

because they hadn’t been picked at all season. I’ve heard that the apple season did well with all the rain we had (of those trees that weren’t destroyed from too much rain) in Upstate NY, and the apples we picked definitely reflected that. It was hard to find a small apple! The apples were large and nice and juicy. Perfect for baking. And eating as is, of course.

No trip apple picking would be complete without cider doughnuts! By the time we were back in the shop area the line outside for fresh doughnuts wound around the building. However, we went inside and were able to get fresh doughnuts from the stand in there, after waiting in line for only a few minutes.

Since we did go apple picking so late in the season we were able to combine our trip with some pumpkin picking as well. Unlike the apple crop, the pumpkin crop this year is supposed to be poor because of the summer rain. From what I saw the Indian Ladder pumpkins did well. We picked two large pumpkins off the vine and paid a whopping $4 each for them. Straight from the farmer, can’t beat it.

I like exploring new places every year, but it will be tempting to go back to Indian Ladder again next year.


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  1. #1 by Bill on October 12, 2011 - 2:10 AM

    Good article and captures the nature of the Indian Ladder style of apple picking. You might want to try Lindseys in Clifton Park just up the road from Bowmans. Much lower key, BYOB friendly and you can wander the orchard without guiding strings.

  2. #2 by Kayla on October 12, 2011 - 2:13 AM

    All right, sounds like I will be trying Lindseys in 2012! Know of any places closer to Albany? Not that Clifton Park is far, just curious what is around here.

  3. #3 by Bill on October 12, 2011 - 2:29 AM

  4. #4 by Tawni on October 12, 2011 - 12:21 PM

    You need to come up to visit us and we will take you to McWhorter’s…the best ever!!! K&Z would love it!

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