Fall is the perfect time to explore the wonders that Union County has to offer. As a resident of the county for almost 20 years, I have found that autumn in Central Ohio is not only beautiful, but it is also extremely memorable. As a traditionally agricultural community, we are privy to magnificent locally grown fruits and vegetables, as well as family-owned and operated businesses. You are not simply picking your own apples or strawberries, but you can talk with the farmer who grew them, and his wife may even share a special recipe or two. Thus, both summer and fall are full of picking and eating the freshest foods, as well as planting and creating beautiful gardens. Not only that, we are also able to create fun from the farmlands with annual corn mazes – which is a wonderful way to spend time with family or friends while building memories.
From the tail end of summer and through to the chilly days of late fall, CherryHawk Farms is in full swing and open for business. Located just a short drive east of Marysville, and with a variety of apples available for picking each month, this is a perfect way to spend time with family. Since I was a young child who could barely pick my own apples off the tree, my family and I have gone apple picking every fall at CherryHawk. Seeing who could reach the tallest apple on the tree or who could find the reddest apple are just glimpses of the fond memories I have associated with apple picking.
Although my family gives preference to Fuji apples, which aren’t ripe until mid-fall, CherryHawk is home to more than a dozen apple varieties, all or which become ripe during different months. The fresh apples are awesome for homemade apple pie, apple shortbread, apple crisp, or any other dessert you can imagine. In addition to apples, CherryHawk has a large sunflower field, which we discovered is great for senior pictures, family portraits or a festive selfie. This is a ‘must see’ as I have so many happy memories of trying a variety of different apples, filling up baskets and enjoying the tasty treats for weeks after each visit. To find when your favorite apple will be ripe for picking, visit http://cherryhawkfarm.com/.
Walk the streets of Marysville and join participating vendors at the third annual Sweetest Day Chocolate Walk on October 18, 2019. Eating local chocolate treats has never been easier than with this fundraiser which will support the restoration fund of the Avalon Uptown Theatre in Marysville. Tickets must be pre-purchased online and will be available for purchase in September. Each ticket, turned into Richwood Bank, earns you one goodie bag and a map highlighting the shops you can visit for a chocolate goodie, treat or coupon. Stop by each of the 20+ participating stores located in Uptown Marysville sometime between the designated time block. Updates and additional information on the event are available at the Facebook Event Page.
Visit Historic Uptown Marysville on September 7, 2019 for one of the largest craft festivals in the state: FestiFair. Find local, homemade crafts of every variety including, baskets, soaps, clothing, accessories, gluten-free goodies, mittens, jewelry, and more from over 100 vendors lining the streets of Marysville. I am always so amazed at how talented the craftsmen and women are. This event is not just about finding unique gifts, but it is often about engaging with the vendors about their handiwork and catching up with neighbors and seeing old classmates. My mom, in particular, loves to visit FestiFair to find unique holiday and birthday gifts for me and my siblings and for our extended family and friends around the globe. This rain-or-shine event is a perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon. For more information visit the Facebook Event Page.
Dutch Mill Greenhouse:
Union County not only offers the opportunity to pick fresh apples and berries at family-friendly farms, but it also offers you the opportunity to plant your own garden with locally sourced products. Carrying Ohio-grown products, the Dutch Mill Greenhouse is an independent garden center located just north of Marysville. This is where my family and I go every year to buy our baby vegetable plants. Part of the reason we always stop at the Dutch Mill is because my dad and I love to grow a wide variety of tomatoes for a slew of wonderful summer menu items. The owners and employees are familiar with the local soil and climate and offer the knowledge to assist all customers.
Beginning in early September, spring-flowering bulbs will be ready for planting – including tulips, daffodils and hyacinth – all of which can be found at Dutch Mill. If you feel like you don’t know enough about fall planting, you can attend a class or workshop offered during the season or ask the experts in store at the Dutch Mill Greenhouse.
Unique to agricultural communities is the opportunity to create entertainment in the countryside. Open every weekend beginning September 14th, 2019, the Maize at Little Darby Creek is home to a variety of fun-filled activities, including a petting zoo, hayrides, a pumpkin patch, a playground, and – most famously – corn mazes. For years, my friends and classmates have gathered at the Maize for a night of fun and of fright. Each year, designers create a unique layout in the corn – this year commemorating the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. With both a haunted maze and a regular maze, you have the opportunity to decide how to you want to spend your evening: lost in a complicated maize or trapped in a state of terror. In addition to corn mazes, the Maize has another unique activity: Giant Pumpkin Carving by the ‘Squashcarver,’ which will take place on October 13th, 2019. Head to the Maize for a fun-filled weekend.
About the Author:
Shannon is currently a student at Miami University studying English Literature and Political Science and most recently spent her summer supporting the Union County Chamber of Commerce and Visitor’s Bureau.