Educational Tours are a great way to teach children (and some adults) about food systems, growing, weather, basic farming, simply where our food comes from! We offer apple and pumpkin picking tours. Children will learn a bit about the farm, food, weather, and what we do. They will tour the apple sorting room and then go out to pick either apples or pumpkins. Yes, pumpkins are a food source too. As usual, donuts and cider will be offered.
Please understand that we do not control the weather and we will try to accommodate the schools and our friends who enjoy the U-Pick season. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to give us a call or email.
Tour Dates fill up fast so we suggest you have your organization call ASAP to find dates to accommodate you.
We appreciate your support.
How do we get to the Orchard?
We are located at 29 Bushy Hill Road Granby CT (between routes 20 and 189)
For what age groups are the tours appropriate?
Becky Clark teaches a group of school children how a flower becomes an apple.
Our orchard is unique because we raise our apples on dwarf trees…no more than 6 feet tall. This ensures that all the fruit hangs between 1 foot and 6 feet above the ground – so anyone, of any height, can pick with ease.
We generally ask that groups be pre-school age (4-5 years old) or older. Children younger than this may be able to pick apples but may not easily complete these activities as a group.
What if our group is smaller than the 20-person mimimum?
Alan and Becky Clark demonstrate apple washing and sorting to a group of school children on a field trip.
There are several approaches you can take if your group has less than 20 participants:
(1) Combine your group with another and/or invite friends and siblings along. This swells the ranks and usually gets above the magic number 20. For example, with groups like Brownies or Cub Scouts, we suggest getting together with other troops or dens.
(2) Schedule for a group tour anyway … we do not preclude smaller groups, but be aware that we will charge the basic fee for a group of twenty.
(3) Come as an informal group and purchase apple sacks as part of our regular pick-your-own operation. We will then take your group out to the orchard on one wagon for picking. Upon your return, stop back at the Apple Barn where you can purchase some donuts and a jug of cider (we’ll supply the cups) … and have a nice private party!
What if rain is forecast on the day of our tour?
We do not conduct tours during inclement weather. Contact us and we can reschedule your tour for an alternate date and time.
Can we stay longer than our scheduled tour time?
While our obligation to the group is limited to the scheduled tour activities and time period, you are certainly welcome to stay longer as long as the facilities are not being used by other groups. Contact us in advance and, if at all possible, we will provide a place for your group to gather.
How is Bushy Hill Orchard apple cider made?
We make some very fine all natural cider. It is produced in an all-stainless steel press from only the best “tree-picked” apples. No windfall or dropped apples are used and all the apples come from our own trees. After pressing, our cider is treated with ultra-violet light to provide 13 times the pathogen reduction specified by the Food and Drug Administration. (Our farm placed the first order in the world for this ultraviolet treatment unit which was developed by Cornell University.) This process destroys any possible “bad” bacteria, but the natural fresh flavor is not destroyed as it would be by heat pasteurization! Our cider exceeds by a large margin the Federal Safety Standards for fresh juice quality.
What are the wagons like?
Our tractor-drawn wagons have 4-inch deep foam seats, covered with waterproof, allergy-free naugahyde. (Bales of hay may be cute, but they sure are not “user friendly”.) The wagons were custom-built for the job and have extra-tall railings on all sides as well as secure rear gates. Each wagon also has safe steps, making access to and from the wagon easy for people of all ages. Our tractors are new John Deere 5200 series and are kept in pristine condition. Each wagon can hold between 20 and 30 persons depending on their size.
What is a peck of apples?
One peck is approximately 10 pounds of apples. Each participant of our apple-picking tour gets to fill a half-peck bag with approximately 5 pounds of apples.