While many Georgians celebrate the news of low increases in food prices, some Georgians will still struggle.University of Georgia experts with the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences forecasted this week that food prices will rise only 2 to 2.5 percent this year. While that’s good news for most consumers, for farmers and low-income Georgians the news isn’t so good.The low increase is greatly due to surplus supplies of food, which lowers prices for farmers, but not for consumers.”Food prices would be more effected by farm prices if consumers wanted more fresh food,” said Bill Thomas, an agricultural economist with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “But people no longer want fresh produce. They want it cut up, seasoned, freeze-dried, pre-packaged and ready to cook. That costs more money.”Farmers only make 23 cents of each dollar charged for food. “The rest,” Thomas said, “goes toward paying for advertising, packaging, transportation, labor and other preparation costs.”Georgia farmers are facing low prices for commodities ranging from corn to cotton.”We are facing poor yields and the lowest prices in 20 years for cotton,” Thomas said. “We have record supplies worldwide for corn, so we are seeing low prices.”Peanuts growers aren’t seeing any premiums for their products, and are getting only average program prices.The U.S., as well as Brazil, has record crops in soybean, keeping prices low.”The midwest enjoyed good weather and record yields, while we were hit with the drought and bad yields, sticking us with low prices,” Thomas said.While the food price increases may seem low to most Georgians, for many low-income Georgians and those who depend on shrinking federal help, they can be a strain on household budgets.”Any price fluctuation affects the poor more significantly than any other group,” said Bill Bolling, executive director of the Atlanta Community Food Bank. “For those who are having a difficult time paying rent, buying food and caring for their children, even a slight increase makes it even more difficult.”Household income also has an impact on what is spent on food.”Our latest figures show that a family whose income is between $5,000 and $9,999 per year will spend about $2,389 on food. That’s 32 percent of their income,” Thomas said. Families earning $30,000 to $39,999 spend more,$4,710, on food but that is just 14.7 percent of their income.
Between hayrides, farm stands, corn mazes, wagon rides, and games for the kids, theses family friendly farms offer loved ones the chance to make the most of any trip on LI’s iconic East End. The fresh produce that the farmers markets provide as well as their delicious candy apples will have you and your loved ones eating all day. Going apple picking is a fun and scenic way to spend the day, and it will be a memory that you will treasure long after the fruits of your labors are devoured. The list below contains multiple locations that you will want to check out this fall.Do not miss your chance to pick the big apple out on Long Island. And remember: It’s always best to call ahead to ensure that these popular orchards haven’t already been picked clean!DAVIS PEACH FARMFor more than 100 years Davis Peach Farm has been growing and selling the plumpest, juiciest peaches around. This unbeatable go-to spot for fresh produce also yields the crispest, juiciest apples ripe for pickin’! Pick your own apples until the end of September, or pick peaches and nectarines through the second week of October. They won’t reveal the secret blend of juices in their famous sangria mix, but luckily you can purchase it at their farmers market and experience this all-healing nectar at home! Hulse Landing Road, Wading River. 631-929-1115. Davispeachfarm.com 9 a.m.-5 p.m (Call first to confirm trees available for picking.)FORT SALONGA FARMThe raspberries at this farm are sweet, plump, and pick-your-own on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Unfortunately, the apple orchard is only open to class trips this year due to deer-related crop damage. 30 Meadow Glen Rd., Northport. 631-269-9666. Fortsalongafarm.comHARBES FAMILY FARM AND ORCHARDOffering a corn maze, a spooky maze, pumpkin hay rides, and more than 24 different types of apples, Harbes Family Farm and Orchard has the best to offer for all ages, with a family friendly environment guaranteed to amaze and entertain! Be sure to visit their vineyard and tasting room after your fun-filled day on the farm. 5698 Sound Ave., Riverhead. 631-298-0800 or 631-298-0700. Harbesfamilyfarm.com/apple-picking Saturday-Sunday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. $8 per person.LEWIN FARMS Sprawling across more than 1,100 acres, Lewin Farms boasts a corn maze, a farm stand, and several pick-your-own fruits and vegetables including tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, apples and pumpkins. The amount of crops this farm has to offer is unmatched. Call for prices and to confirm apple availability. Sound Avenue, Baiting Hollow. 631-929-4327. Lewinfarm.com 9 a.m-4:30 p.m. Weekends and holidays only.MILK PAIL FARM AND ORCHARDThis orchard is a must for picking your own apples, pumpkins, gourds and squash. The kids will love picking their own apples from the dwarf apple trees! Pick up some nut butters, plants, berries and pies at their fresh market before you head home! 1346 Montauk Hwy., Water Mill. 631-537-2565. Milk-pail.com 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Friday-Sunday. $43 per 20-pound bag.SEVEN PONDS ORCHARDPick from four apple varieties this year: Gingergold, Gala, Honeycrisp and Macintosh. Not into apples? Then pick your own raspberries, string beans and tomatoes before hitting up the incredible farmers market, hopping on the hayride, getting lost in the corn maze, or just joshing around at the playground. Wow! Seven Ponds Road, Water Mill. 631-726-8015. Facebook.com/pages/seven-ponds-orchard 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Monday-Sunday.THE APPLE ORCHARD @ HANK’S PUMPKINTOWNPumpkintown has it all—apple picking, pumpkin picking, face painting, a playground, and even gem mining! Will you find gemstones, fossils, arrowheads or seashells? Of course you will! This orchard offers the best kid-friendly environment around and will be a good time for everyone. There are a dozen apple varieties to pick— Gala, McIntosh, Honeycrisp, Fuji, Cortland, Macoun, Empire, Snow Sweet, Jonagold, Suncrisp and Mutsu—with varying ripening times. 240 Montauk Hwy, Water Mill. 631-726-4667. Hankspumpkintown.com 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday-Sunday. $20 per 10-pound bag, limited to four people per bag.WICKHAM’S FRUIT FARMMost of this farm dates back to 1661, and its grounds offers apple picking, peaches, tomatoes, and raspberries. Set against beautiful Peconic Bay, you can tour this historic farm, cider press, and working beehive on a wagon ride! In addition to apple picking, they also offer homemade pies, jams, preserves and teabreads. Don’t leave without enjoying their gourmet selection of specialty cheeses! Who would have thought apples and cheese pair so scrumptiously well together? Dee-lishhh! 28700 Main Rd., Cutchogue. 631-734-6441. Wickhamsfruitfarm.com 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday-Saturday. Closed Sunday.WINDY ACRES FARMPick your own apples at this family-owned farm run by fourth-generation farmers. Their farm stand offers roasted corn and cider doughnuts, as well as eggplant, tomatoes, okra, peppers and string beans—all bound to soothe the belly and soul. Pick up some fresh produce, and enjoy it in the picnic area while the little ones have a ball at the playground! 3810 Middle Country Rd., Calverton. 631-727-4554. Facebook.com/pages/windy-acres-farm 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Sunday.WOODSIDE ORCHARDS For more than three decades this family-run orchard has been offering the very best, most delectable apple pies, fresh cider, and more than 30 varieties of apples to pick from. They have truly taken apple cider to the next level! Try out their cider slushies and five different kinds of hard cider! They even brew their own apple wine! The special semi-dwarfed trees grown at both of their locations make it easy for people of all sizes and almost all ages to pick the apples since the trees only reach a height of about 10 feet! So, hungry pickers won’t have to go too far out on a limb to snatch something delicious. 631-722-5770. Woodsideorchards.com Manor Lane, Jamesport: Saturday-Sunday 11:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Route 25, Aquebogue: Monday-Sunday 11:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.—With Desiree D’iorio Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York With fall in the air, the apples are getting ripe for picking at farms out east, which are basking in the autumn glow as families pour in for refreshing apple cider, mouth-watering apple pies and an assortment of delectable apple-inspired goodies.
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