Real Talk: Apple Picking Is An Unromantic Scam

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apple picking scam


The fall is truly a magical time. Leaves are changing colors and the vibrancy is everywhere. There’s a chill in the air that lets you break out your fave booties finally. Oh, and there are countless ~fall activities~ to partake in. The emphasis on fall activities in the last few years has been palpable. Everyone has to be photographed in a corn maze at least once every October, right? But there is one fall activity that is so highly romanticized when it shouldn’t be. There is no bigger scam in the fall activities market than apple picking!

Think about it, how much fun do you really have when you go apple picking? You’re getting dirty, doing manual labor, and paying high prices for a ton of apples you then have to lug to your car. Oh, and nevermind the fact that you don’t even like apples that much. Or baking with them for that matter! But the fact that so many movies and TV shows glamorize the idea of apple picking — especially with your sweetie — has made this the go-to fall activity. I’m here to tell you that it’s a total scam and here’s why!

You get way too dirty

First and foremost we all know why your apple picking — for the ‘gram. We all do things that at their core aren’t that great so that we can take pics, throw them on Instagram, and let the world know we’re doing what’s hip and cool. But it’s kind of hard to take a good picture when you’re covered in mud from trekking through an apple orchard. You’re going out into a field picking fruit from trees. Don’t get it twisted, this is not an easy, clean activity!

More real talk: you probably crafted the perfect fall outfit for this excursion. Cute boots, a perfect sweater, a light jacket that highlights it all. Well, those cute boots you just bought are about to be scuffed to the high heavens and your fall manicure is going to get ruined while you forage for apples. Unless you’re planning on taking pictures before you ever touch an apple or get into the orchard, it’s just not worth all the trouble for a perfect likable pic!

They’re always super busy

We don’t blame you if you totally hate people. They’re always everywhere, getting in your way and trying to talk to you. It’s the whole reason we run straight to self-checkout during our Target runs! Well, I’ve got news for all you misanthropes — apple orchards are always crowded AF. Since the season is so short, there are precious few weekends to get in some apple picking fun. So, unless you’re planning on going on a Wednesday, plan on contending with hoards of people also trying to fulfill their fall activity quota.

Everyone has the same idea you do — pick some apples, post some pics, have some #familyfun. Yep, I said families. Because not only are there people everywhere, but there are children. Ones who are not having fun and will do everything they can to make sure you don’t have fun either. Screaming kids anywhere is a nightmare, but when you’re in the middle of a field and have to wait for a tractor to bring you back to civilization, it’s even worse. You know what’s easy and hassle-free, though? Picking up a bag of apples at the store, going to self-checkout, and being completely unbothered!

Apple picking is actually super expensive

Speaking of the grocery store, did you know it’s usually cheaper to just pick up a pre-picked bag of apples than to pick your own? While price is often touted as a reason to pick your own, you likely aren’t getting much of a deal. Despite doing the manual labor yourself, the cost of product per pound is on par with whatever you would pick up at your local store. You’re basically paying more to do the work yourself! As hard-working twentysomethings know, saving every single penny is imperative. Wasting extra bucks on a bucket of apples can be poor spending and even a waste if you end up throwing half of them away!

While costs per pound/peck/bushel, etc. vary by state and amount of trees, the average cost of apple picking in apple-heavy New England is about $2 per pound. With many 3-pound bags of apples selling for less than $6 in the grocery and big box stores, it stands to reason that you’re not getting that great of a deal. Then when you factor in the cost of getting to the orchard, the inevitable cider donuts and other treats, you’re looking at a super expensive day at the farm!

What are you ever going to do with all those apples?!

Here is the one big thing people don’t think of when it comes to apple picking: you have to take all those apples home and do somethnig with them. But what?! There are only so many desserts you can bake before you realize you aren’t a good baker. Apples by themselves are good but only in moderation and we doubt any of y’all will be out here snacking on 10 pounds of apples. The crushing realization for most people is “wait, I don’t even buy apples regularly… what am I going to do with all these now?!”

What you’re going to do with all those apples becomes extra important when you realize you have to store them all, too! Where the heck are you going to put a big bucket of apples so that they don’t spoil? There are only so many you can store in your fridge before you have to fill it with real food and throwing them on the counter will shorten their life-span. So that expensive day at the farm becomes an even bigger waste when you end up throwing eight of those 10 pounds away.

Your significant other is not having fun

You should know that they did not want to waste their Saturday off doing this. Any supportive S/O will indulge in their love’s favorite activities, but apple picking is never fun to get dragged to. While you may still be romanticizing apple picking, your S/O probably knows it’s a scam and they want out of this day. I have never seen a happy couple picking apples together. One-half of the equation is always sitting there brooding, usually playing ‘photographer’ for their bae’s IG and pretending to have fun. Sorry, but these are facts.

There are so many other things you can be doing

The fall is ripe for activities, apple picking just happens to be the worst of them. There are so many other things you can do that are actually fun and still fall-y! My personal fave: leaf peeping! It’s totally free, yields prettier Insta pics, and there are so many different ways to do it. You can climb a mountain, hike a trail, or just drive around town gawking at the trees. Whichever you choose to do it’ll be well worth the trip and your wallet won’t be any lighter!

Another fall biggie that involves picking but not apples: pumpkin picking! Here’s the thing about pumpkins — they aren’t omnipresent all year round. So picking the perfect pumpkin is a real novelty. You can carve them or roast the seeds. Whatever you choose to do with them it’ll be fun since you can’t do it very often. Apples, on the other hand, are everywhere all year long. So why not do something a little more specific to the season if you have a fruit picking itch to scratch?! Whatever you choose to do, just make sure it doesn’t involve pulling apples off of trees. You’ll be getting totally scammed!

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