Trouble picking a COVID-safe activity? Pick apples!


It is so hard to figure out a way to be safe yet enjoy life as it goes. Especially now, during the change of the seasons, we all want to be social. Fret not! For I have the perfect way to enjoy fall without taking your mask off. Visit an orchard!

Last Sunday, my sister Angie and I visited Belltown Hill Orchard in South Glastonbury. It was a blast. It was a great way to get outside and enjoy company, without worrying about catching Miss Rona.

Belltown Hill is a beautiful piece of land with much to explore. The apple farm stretches out virtually as far as one can see. We got there in the afternoon, and within 10 minutes, we were on a tractor touring the land. We got off at certain points of the farm where the apples were most ideal at the time: Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, and we even got a few great Pink Ladies. 

Walking through the maze of towering apple bushes and trees took me back to a fantasy, like in “Alice and Wonderland.” In every direction, we saw families running around in search of the perfect fruit. After sufficiently filling our bag, we hopped back onto the tractor and headed over to pay.

In the exit’s shop, we were greeted with more products and treats than one would ever have expected. Belltown Hill has their own lines of spreads, candies, popcorns, and more. The apple jam was to die for; I can’t wait to use it in my next recipe.

But what was truly “to die for,” Angie DeLucia ‘18 said, were the fresh apple fritters and cider that they sold outside. When you think of an apple fritter, usually you think of fried dough stuffed with an apple pie filling, right? But not here, for this orchard had one of the rarest and most interesting takes on the recipe. Instead of wrapping the apples in fried dough, they made a ball of apple filling, then molded donut dough around them. This then created a tiny, crunchy ball and smooth interior, only comparable to a donut hole. And usually, white people are criticized for their light-handedness with spice, but I can tell you that this was not the case with the fritters nor the cider.

After a good hour at Belltown Hill, Angie and I headed home to wash and eat these fresh, perfectly ripe apples. And let me tell you, honey. Honaayyyy. The apples are so good. That was the best experience with fruit I might have ever had. I have been too busy this week to make something with them, but you better believe that the moment I get some spare time this house is going to smell like pie for weeks. I mean weeks. We are going to wake up on Thanksgiving, maybe even Christmas to the smell of another apple pie. I don’t even care because they are that good.

You get it, fresh apples are good. And the sky is blue, and gravity pulls us downward. But why, then, am I choosing to write this review? Because I know that we all need something exciting to do, and I am telling you that apple-picking is it. Or even pumpkin-picking! But apples are a more practical and useful result. 

Also, enjoy fall! We are almost into winter, and too few of us have even had a chance to savor Christian girl autumn. Apple-picking is perfect for right now because it connects you directly to everyone’s favorite season.

Even more, there is no way you can mess up COVID-19 rules here, unless intentionally. You never need to take your mask off, nor is it necessary to stand by other possibly-infected people! We have all spent too much time in our rooms, this I understand. We need to get out, this I know. But that does not mean that we can risk peoples’ lives!

Wear a mask, care for others, don’t get sick. But while doing so, enjoy yourself!! This is why I have written this article for you. Apple-picking is the ideal way to check all of these boxes and more.