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Apples at Wickham’s Fruit Farm in Cutchogue. (Credit: Michelina Da Fonte)

It’s September, which really means one thing on the North Fork: apple season.

Though fall doesn’t technically begin until Sept. 22, apples are a harbinger of autumn and ripe for the picking at local farms. Break out the plaid shirts and get ready to bite into a crisp, sweetly tart apple at these u-pick farms.

Here’s our guide to apple picking on the North Fork. As a rule of thumb, it’s always a good idea to call ahead of time to ensure the fields are open that day. 

Breeze Hill Farm, Peconic

Breeze Hill has 1,200 apple trees on the property, including ginger gold, red delicious, granny smith, mutsu and more. When arriving on the farm to pick your own apples, you’ll be directed to the spots with the best apples for the time of season. Open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., closed Tuesdays, U-pick open Wednesday through Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. starting Sunday, Sept. 11. 31215 County Rd 48, Peconic; (631) 876-5159

Harbes Family Orchard, Riverhead

The 15-acre Harbes Family Orchard in Riverhead is open for apple picking in September and October. The farm offers 27 different varieties of apples, including gala, sansa, honey crisp and golden delicious. There are also plenty of family-friendly activities to enjoy such as a corn maze and hayrides. No pets or outside food and drinks are allowed on the farm. The u-pick orchard is open on Mondays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and weekends and holidays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. It is closed on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays. 5698 Sound Ave. Riverhead; (631) 298-0800

Hayden’s Peach Orchard, Wading River

Peaches are the name of the game at this Wading River spot — but the apples are known to be delicious, too. The farm stand is typically open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with u-pick offered on weekends. 561 Hulse Landing Road, Wading River  (631) 929-1115

Lewin Farms, Calverton

In addition to apples, Lewin also has u-pick peppers, eggplant and pumpkins through October. The five-acre corn maze is generally open 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekends and holidays starting in early September and continuing through late October. It is designed to be challenging and takes between 20 to 35 minutes to complete, depending on how many dead ends you hit. Note: Animals are not allowed in the orchard and the fields are cash only. There is an ATM at the farm stand. U-pick is generally open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (closed Tuesdays), but is subject to change. Call for more info. 812 Sound Avenue, Calverton (631) 929-4327

Wickham’s Fruit Farm, Cutchogue

Wagon rides are also available on Saturdays during apple-picking season, providing a fun way to get to the orchards and see the farm. Other items such as apple cider doughnuts, apple cider, pies and preserves are available at the farm stand. No pets are allowed. U-pick is open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays and varieties — they grow over 40! — are always changing depending on what’s ripest. 28700 Main Rd. Cutchogue; (631) 734-6441

Windy Acres Farm, Calverton

The farm stand also sells fresh eggs, flowers, doughnuts and has a children’s play area. Open weekends 10 a.m to 4 p.m. 3810 Middle Country Road, Calverton; (631) 727-4554

Woodside Orchard, Aquebogue and Jamesport

A hub of all things apples, Woodside Orchard has been family owned and operated since 1982. There are two locations: Both have U-pick groves and baked goods, and the Aquebogue location offers hard cider tasting, too. Leashed pets are allowed in the picnic areas but not in the U-pick groves. Jamesport is open weekends and Aquebogue is for weekday picking. No opening date has been announced yet, but is typically in the second week of September. Check their website for the latest info. 729 Main Road, Aquebogue; 116 Manor Lane, Jamesport; (631) 722-5770