September is apple picking time in Georgia. Taking an afternoon to head up to North Georgia and pick apples has become a family tradition for my boys. There are lots of apple houses, but only a few that actually let you pick your own. The season is Sept. and Oct., but different apples are available at different times, so if you’re like me and want a specific type of apple, call before you go and make sure they’re ready to pick.
Ellijay is the apple capital of Georgia, so that’s where we normally go. For the past several years we’ve gone to BJ Reece Apple House. It’s a family run business and the folks there are super nice. A few years ago they added an apple cannon and petting zoo to the apple picking experience. There is an extra fee for those activities but the Bluegrass Music on the weekends is free. We’ve also been to Hillcrest Orchard just down the street from BJ Reece. Hillcrest hosts the Apple Pickin Jubilee.
Running around the apple orchard can make you hungry, even if you’re sampling while you pick. Our tradition includes a stop at Col. Poole’s BBQ and Pig Hill of Fame. My son loves the BBQ and I love the corny puns like the parking space sign “Pork Here” and of course the Pig Hill of Fame. The Pig Hill of Fame is behind the restaurant. Patrons purchase pig signs made out of plastic sign material to place on the hill. Last year we finally purchased a sign, so we’ll have to go on a hunt to find our pig this year.