I am visiting my brother in New Jersey, USA. Even in my lowest point in life, I have the privilege to take a trip to the biggest and picturesque farm of New Jersey – Alstede Farms.
1. The Drive
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The drive from West Orange to Alstede Farms in the fall season is a scenic journey through the rolling hills and charming small towns of northern New Jersey. The urban landscape of West Orange gradually transforms into a rural and vibrant display of autumn colors. Along the way, you’ll encounter roadside farm stands selling pumpkins and apples, while the scent of fallen leaves and wood-burning stoves fills the air. As you approach Chester, the roads are lined with trees showcasing a kaleidoscope of red, orange, and yellow leaves, and the sound of leaves crunching under your tires adds to the ambiance.
2. Fruit Picking
Upon arriving at Alstede Farms, they give you a basket to collect fruits and vegetables on the farm. These baskets are typically offered to make the picking process more convenient for visitors. They provide a way to gather the produce while keeping it organized and protected.
While enjoying apple picking, you can soak in the fresh air, the natural surroundings, and the pleasant ambiance of the farm. The experience is not only about gathering apples but also about connecting with the orchard and the land. It’s a family-friendly and enjoyable activity, perfect for creating lasting memories and enjoying the bounty of the fall season. I got to learn about the different kinds of apples: Honeycrisp, Fuji, Empire (to name a few)
Apple Picking at Alstede Farms
There are tractor-pulled wagons to transport visitors from one area to another. These are especially popular during busy times and can add to the rustic and enjoyable farm experience.
You can feed these ponies (at your own risk. Alstede Farms also offers pony rides (couldn’t take a picture of that).
Visitors, particularly children, often have the opportunity to enjoy short pony rides in designated areas of the farm. This can be a fun and memorable experience for kids, allowing them to interact with gentle ponies and enjoy a ride under supervision.
The pumpkin picking area offers a great picture setting for Instagram 😉
The farm typically provides a diverse selection of pumpkins in various sizes, shapes, and colors, along with informative guidance to help visitors choose the perfect pumpkin for their specific needs, whether it’s for carving, decorating, or cooking.
3. Mental Health
Took a walk here and practiced box breathing. Box breathing helps promote relaxation and reduce the “fight or flight” response associated with stress and anxiety. It can be used in various situations, such as before a stressful event, during meditation, or as part of a daily mindfulness practice to help manage stress and enhance mental clarity and focus.
Concluding my first trip to fruit picking at Alstede Farms, I can say that the experience was not only enjoyable but also remarkably refreshing for my mental health. The picturesque setting, the act of connecting with nature, and the simple pleasure of picking fresh fruits amid the scenic landscape provided a sense of calm and tranquility that was truly therapeutic. It’s a wonderful reminder of the healing power of nature and the benefits of taking time to savor the beauty of the outdoors. I highly recommend a visit to Alstede Farms for anyone seeking a mental health boost and a delightful escape into the natural world.
To read about my other posts on my mental health journey, head over to: https://reasonstolivefor.com/