Five Ways to Kick-Off Fall in the Finger Lakes Region

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Peak harvest season in the Finger Lakes Region kicks off next week with fall festivals, autumn food, wine tastings, acres of apples, grapes, tomatoes and pumpkins ready for picking and comfort cuisine. Beyond the scenic foliage, experience the fall harvest with a few of the following ideas:

Despite the rainy summer, we're enjoying a plentiful crop for apples this season in the Finger Lakes Region

Peak harvest season in the Finger Lakes Region kicks off next week with fall festivals, autumn food, wine tastings, acres of apples, grapes, tomatoes and pumpkins ready for picking and comfort cuisine. Beyond the scenic foliage, experience the fall harvest with a few of the following ideas:

Apples. The first two weeks of October are prime time for apples. Pick-your-own is available at local orchards including Long Point in Aurora. Or, on your way to the wineries, visit Morgan Half Acre Produce in Union Springs for a bushel. The store offers more than 14 varieties, as well as other specialty decorations and homemade baked goods, including butternut squash soup and pumpkin bread.

"Despite the rainy summer, we're enjoying a plentiful crop for apples this season in the Finger Lakes Region," said Kelly Morgan, owner, Morgan Half Acre Produce. "Among our best seller is the Honeycrisp - it's a local favorite for its tart flavor and uses in salads, pies and sauces. We expect to sell 20-30 bushels of apples per day."

Savor fresh harvest cuisine. For the ultimate taste of the season, Elderberry Pond restaurant in Auburn serves the "Garden in a Glass," a blended drink of fresh herbs and vine-ripe tomatoes. The restaurant is surrounded by 100-acres of organic ingredients grown right on Elderberry Pond Farm. The autumn menu changes daily but includes tomato leek soup, garden fresh ratatouille and pasture-raised pork with apple cider puree. Pumpkin Hill Bistro in Aurora will also host a harvest brunch with fall favorites including pumpkin waffles and autumn bisque on October 4, 11 and 18. Reservations can be made by calling 315-364-7091.    

Enjoy festivals and winemaking. King Ferry Winery will hold its annual Harvest Festival, on October 10-11 http://www.treleavenwines.com/index.html. Activities include free tastings, live music, food and vineyard tours. For something different, King Ferry also offers a private session with the head winemaker. Visitors can participate in the harvesting process, learn traditional winemaking techniques and be among the first to try new vintages. For more information call 315-364-5100.

Peruse village markets. Stop by one of the many village markets for locally harvested produce and other goods. Through October 30, vendors sell fruits and flowers, baked goods, meats and crafts. A few include the Farmer's Coop Market of Cayuga County held Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings on Genesee Street & Loop Road in Auburn and the Port Byron Farmer's Market held on Wednesday afternoons in Schasel Park.

Add adventure to your pumpkin picking. Ontario Orchards located in Sterling http://www.ontarioorchards.com/u-pickapple.htm offers hayrides, a corn maze and a zip line for children and fearless parents. While you're there, stock up on winter squash, pumpkin pies and gourds. Finally, consult the landscaping team for next year's planting ideas or stroll the greenhouse for fall plants, including vibrant colored mums and ornamental peppers.

For more suggestions on enjoying autumn in the Finger Lakes Region visit http://www.tourcayuga.com.

About the Cayuga County Office of Tourism    
The Cayuga County Office of Tourism is the designated Tourism Promotion Agency for Cayuga County and promotes the County's attractions, events and lodging establishments. For more information call 315-255-1658/800-499-9615 or visit http://www.tourcayuga.com.

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