This past weekend we finally made it to The Elegant Farmer, an apple orchard and market located in Mukwonago, Wisconsin – not too far from where we live. Our weather has been rainy the past couple of weeks and the orchard was too soggy to go apple picking. So when we saw clear skies and sunshine in the forecast, we jumped at the opportunity to tick this fall activity off the list!
Upon arriving, the grounds were already swarming with people. The property is not only home to an apple orchard, but a full-service marketplace, bakery, and eatery with fun offerings like hayrides, pony rides, and train rides (an ACTUAL train, not the child size versions). You are greeted by their signature smiling barn and the intoxicating aroma of warm apple cider donuts wafting through the air.
We chose to stroll through the orchard sans hayride, but with cider donuts in hand and sampled various apples until we found the perfect ones! They encourage you to sample the variety of apples from the trees and you will be pleasantly surprised at how well the orchard is organized. You are handed a small “apple guide” and the trees all have distinct colored ribbons that let you know what types of apples they hold. In the past, we have visited orchards too late in the season where apples are either overly ripe or hardly on the trees. This time around, we hit it perfectly and had so many to choose from!
My husband has a strong affinity for the fruit, so climbing trees to find the perfect ones is a job he takes seriously. We were happy to see ladders and crates scattered throughout the property to help aid in reaching those hard to get apples! After collecting a peck size basket worth, we simply made our way to the checkout hut by the entrance of the orchard and paid for what we collected. Before you head through the orchard you can’t miss the stacked baskets with options for a ½ peck, peck, or bushel! I found the prices to be incredibly reasonable and loved that you could technically just stroll the grounds for free if you decided not to apple pick.
Afterward, we made our way through the bustling market serving up baked goods, homemade dressings, cheese, meats and produce. We left emptyhanded, despite the tease of their award-winning apple pie in a bag display – but we reasoned that it would give us a good incentive to come back. It was a great time and I can’t recommend it enough. It is easy to see why it is such a local favorite.
Have you ever been apple picking? Have you visited The Elegant Farmer? Let me know in the comments below.