Local U-Pick Orchards & Apple Cannons

The Holiday Hooligans are Pickerington Online’s team of teenage reporters providing information and reviews on interesting places for seasonal fun.

September 30, 2021
by Heath Scofield & the Holiday Hooligans

As the temperatures cool, we are exploring some of Central Ohio’s favorite autumn traditions. Join us as we visit some of Ohio’s scariest attractions, as well as places for the whole family.

One popular family tradition is picking apples. Many orchards like Lynd Fruit Farm in Pataskala, and Branstool Orchards in Utica offer a “U-Pick” option, where you buy a bag and collect your own apples.

We went to Branstool Orchards, where we picked honeycrisp apples and encore peaches. Different apples and fruits are available at different times, so the ones we picked might not be available when you go. For a list of the current U-pick varieties, you can visit their website.

In addition to apple picking, Branstool offered other activities such as a playground and basketball hoops.

While in Utica, stop by Ye Olde Mill. This ice-cream parlor is built upon the foundation of a 200-year-old grist mill along the North Fork of the Licking River, and is run by Velvet Ice Cream. You can sit down and have a meal in their dining room, or go straight to the ice cream bar.

They have a playground for younger kids, picnic shelters, walking trails and fishing ponds. You can even purchase a bag of corn to feed the ducks.

If you don’t want to travel almost an hour to Utica, Lynd Fruit Farm is located in Pataskala and offers a host of autumn activities including apple cannons!

To find the apple cannons, go past the “U-pick” orchard and turn left into the maze entrance. Drive past the maze, the kiddie train and the wagon ride until you come to the end of the lane. The hours are 10 am – 6 pm Friday through Sunday.

For $10.00 you can buy a small bucket of 10-12 apples or you can purchase the larger bucket for $20.00. The cannons are set-up on a platform overlooking a range full of fun targets including a school bus and a few cars. There are a few large metal targets that clang if you can hit them.

The apple cannon at Lynd’s fruit Farm.
(Best watched with volume.)

The cannons are relatively easy to use – just be sure that the green light is “on” before you shoot. If the green light is not “on” then the apple explodes within the cannon’s barrel.

The cannons pivot and adjust up and down so that you can easily adjust the site toward your intended target.

Below is a list of all Ohio Apple, “U-Pick” locations within an hour drive of Pickerington.

Dylan, age 5 a Kindergartener at Liberty Union Elementary launches apples with help from his mom, Elizabeth Derdzinski. Dylan said the cannon was “really fun!”

Local U-Pick Orchards:

A Branstool sunflower

Paige’s Produce – (25 minute drive) 7975 Cincinnati-Zanesville Road SW, Amanda, OH 43102
U-Pick hours: Friday 10 am – 5 pm, Saturday 9 am – 4 pm, Sunday 11 am – 4 pm
Pricing: $20/ peck, $30/ 2 pecks, $40/ 4 pecks
Other Activities: Pumpkin Picking

Lynd Fruit Farm – (30 minute drive) 9851 Morse Rd. SW, Pataskala, OH 43062
U-Pick hours: Wednesday – Sunday 10 am – 6 pm
Pricing: Premium Apples (Honeycrisp & Evercrips) $25/ peck, $35/ half buschel
All Other Apples:  $20/ peck, $30/ half buschel
Other Activities: Apple Cannons, Pumpkin Picking, Corn Maze, Food Vendors, Games at the Large Farm Market

Legend Hills – (45 minute drive) 11335 Reynolds Road, Utica OH 43080
U-Pick hours: Monday – Saturday 9 am – 4:30 pm, Sunday 10 am – 3:30 pm
Pricing: $12 small bag, $20 large bag
Other Activities: Pumpkin Picking, Live Museum, Farm Market

Branstool – (50 minute drive) 5895 Johnstown-Utica Road, Utica OH 43080
U-Pick hours: Monday – Saturday 9 am – 5 pm, Sunday 10 am – 4 pm
Pricing: $16 peck, $30/ half buschel
Other Activities: Pumpkin Picking, Live Museum, Farm Market

Ochs Fruit Farm – Ochs doesn’t have U-Pick but they are included in our list because they are a regular vendor at the Pickerington Farmers Market. So if you want fresh local fruit, but don’t want to pick it yourself, stop by their stand every Thursday or visit their store at: 2161 Pleasantville Rd, Lancaster, OH 43130.

1 peck = 8 quarts
1 buschel = 32 quarts

Ochs Fruit Farm apples at the Pickerington Farmers Market

This is story is the first of many articles by the Holiday Hooligans. Next up we visit Fear Columbus, one of Ohio’s top-rated haunted houses.

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Paid for by Mark Hensen for Pickerington School Board