Charlie’s Apples with a side of Goumas Confections
Posted by cmh gourmand on October 31, 2010
Fall is fading fast. Most farmers markets have folded for the season. Apples picking has petered out but there is still plenty of time to get some late fall apples and freshly made apple products. There are several great apple orchards in our area however one stands out for some special reasons. There are still time left for a roadtrip for produce.
Charlie’s Apples aka Windy Hill Apple Farm is located in between Johnston and Granville, about 45 minutes from Columbus. The orchard was planted in 1995 with the intention of being a completely organic operation. Owner Charlie Fritsch grew up on a farm and has a background in science. Charlie uses no pesticides or other unnatural aids in the apple growing process. He has figured out the art of growing apples but is still working on the science of making a living doing it. He makes other apple products in an effort to make the business sustainable. There are ten varieties of apples that were selected to be disease resistant and suited to this part of Ohio. The apples are available in different growing seasons during the year but there are usually three to five types available at any time from spring to fall. The apples available for picking are heirloom/heritage/vintage apples. At the beginning of the 20th century there were over 7000 apples varieties to choose from but the move to mass marketing for the masses scaled the variety we saw in the grocery store down to six to eight. Heirloom apples have names that you have never heard before such as Liberty and Enterprise. There is a move to bring back many of these forgotten apple varieties.
For more in depth information on the farm watch the video below:
Interview with Charlie Fritsch
Charlie’s Apples is a pick your own operation. You drive up, sign in, pick your apples and pay for them. Picking and payment are on the honor system – you handle the entire transaction on your own. Payment is in cash or check. Depending on the time of year you can also pick raspberries or buy sweet cider, hard cider, cider syrup or apples that have been stored for the winter. Charlie also does tours for groups if you are interested. For November choices are Enterprise, Goldrush and Juliet apples
as well as the ciders and syrup.
The downside to an organic orchard is the harsh reality of a naturally grown product. These apples are often not as pretty as what we see in the stores. The apples can be misshapen and bumpy. Some may have worms. If you have been to other pick your own orchards you will find that you have to work a little harder to find the apple you want here. However, the result is an apple that tastes like none that you have had before.
If your trip to Charlie’s leaves you feeling like you need a bit more instant gratification, there is something for your sweet tooth less than 15 minutes away. Goumas Candyland has been a landmark in Heath for decades. A spin off (or split from, depending on how one defines things) of the chocolate and confection maker is located in Newark and now Granville. Goumas Confections opened a retail location in downtown Granville. This location fits in well with a trip to Charlie’s especially since the store has candy apples.
This store has a large selection of chocolates, nuts, brittles, popcorn balls and candies. A signature item here is the Goomie – a conglomeration of rice krispies covered in caramel and dipped in chocolate. There are plenty of other places to grab a snack or a brew on East Broadway but a combination of apples and chocolate seem like the recipe for a good day to me.
aka Windy Hill Apple Farm
1740 Sportsman Club Road
226 East Broadway