Autumn Activities

Who doesn’t love the Fall? Apple picking, Corn and hedge mazes, and pumpkin picking are a few of our favorite things, but where and how did all of these seasonal sensations get their start?

The apple was first introduced in the 1600’s with the first settlers. They quickly created orchards and used the saplings to trade with the Native Americans. In the early 19th century, John Chapman aka Jonny Appleseed began to create commercial nurseries in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana. Soon they were in every kitchen. 

The apples were cooked, stewed, fried, turned into apple butter, vinegar, cider, dried and roasted. Apples were seeing a huge boom. Now there are thousands of orchards all around the US, and one of the most popular activities in the fall is apple picking. 

We have 3 apple orchards in Stow, 4 orchards in Bolton, and  1 orchard in Lancaster. If you’re ever itching to go outside, apple picking is a great choice to get out into nature. 

Another great fall activity is corn mazes! Corn mazes have been around for thousands of years, The earliest accounts of mazes are the labyrinths in Greek mythology. The labyrinths were used to keep the minotaur in an inescapable prison. 

In the late 1900’s mazes and labyrinths became popular in art and sculpture and as they were made at larger scales, they became a public sensation. The mazes and labyrinths have been made out of corn, hedges, and ice. The largest corn maze was 54,000 square feet located  in Nebraska. In Toronto they created an ice maze made of over 2000 blocks of ice. 

One of the most common fall activities is pumpkin carving. The tradition of carving gourds and root vegetables began with the story of Stingy Jack. The story goes that Jack had tricked the devil so many times that he had made an agreement with the devil that he wouldn’t take Jack’s soul when he died. However, God did not allow that to happen and Jack was forced to travel the darkness with a piece of burning coal.  Jack put the coal in a turnip he had been eating earlier. Children would put hot coals in carved turnips and place them around the house as a way of commemorating the trickster. This is why we call carved pumpkins Jack-o’-lanterns.

Now that Fall has started, get out there and have some Fall fun with a pumpkin spice latte in hand!