Beak & Skiff’s Apple Orchard: Is It Worth The Visit?

Beak & Skiff’s Apple Orchard: Is It Worth The Visit?

DISCLAIMER: This is not an advertisement for the Beak & Skiff Apple Orchard. This is just a written retelling of my experience visiting the Lafayette, NY attraction. Please enjoy.

An apple orchard that constantly receives #1 ratings across the board warrants a visit if you live in the Syracuse area. As a Newhouse Master’s student, I’m glad I took advantage of the great weather this past weekend to visit Beak & Skiff’s Apple Orchard, the century-old provider of quality apples and apple products for the Upstate New York area. Founded by George Skiff and Andrew Beak in 1911, the two farmers partnered to make their own impact in the apple business, successfully becoming food entrepreneurs in the emerging market. Through many decades of growing apples and the business combined with a fruitful partnership with the Cornell extension (my alma mater), Beak & Skiff can “stay up to date on new additions to the market and bring you the latest varieties,” at least according to their website.

There were plenty of attractions at the apple ridge, but I only decided to go on the apple orchard picking tour. With over 15 different varieties to choose from, I wasn’t even sure what types of apples I was picking. Nonetheless, I attempted to pick the freshest looking apples, and Beak & Skiff truly delivered. After I got the chance to wash an apple to give one a try, I was immediately satisfied with the succulent taste. I wish I could tell you the exact apple type, but the fruit provided a sweet juicy crunch that makes me regret not picking more to take home. I think it was either a Honeycrisp or Jonagold apple, but don’t quote me (you can find their different apple selections by clicking here).

But, is going to Beak & Skiff truly worth the 25-minute drive from campus? Should students exit the Syracuse University bubble to visit a historical landmark dedicated to apples when they can pick up fresh apples at their local Wegmans? To answer that, it depends on your interest in experiencing something unique to the Upstate NY area.

For the most part, farm life is a pretty foreign concept to me, as I never considered that as a way of living. I rely heavily on farmers to produce the healthy food I enjoy consuming but never entertained the idea of seeing what life was like in their shoes. Hopping on the wagon that transports groups of tourists to the apple tree field essentially feels like being transported to a few decades ago, minus the large amounts of people taking pictures and videos on their mobile devices. Now that I think about it, I probably should have taken a few pictures myself to share with you all reading this article…

Overall, I truly recommend you visit Beak & Skiff if you are not too busy. The apple ridge is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and the good employees are welcoming from the first point of contact. I wish I stocked up on more apples when I left, as every apple I’ve eaten so far has been delicious. If I ever go another time, I’ll be sure to pick up some of Beak & Skiff’s hard ciders as well.

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Tobenna Attah
Transmedia Entrepreneur
Tobe V. Attah is a transmedia entrepreneur enrolled as a Master's student at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. He studies Media and Education, and loves writing, editing, and collaborating with others about ideas and startups working in today's new media landscape. He has been published across a wide variety of media outlets, including Sports Illustrated, the Cornell Daily Sun, SportTechie, Clutchpoints, Cavs Nation, the Cornell Chronicle, and many more.

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