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Apple U-Pick Orchards in the greater metropolitan Des Moines area of Iowa in 2024, by county

Below are the U-Pick orchards and farms for apples that we know of in this area. Not all areas of any state, nor even every state, have apples orchards that are open to the public. If you know of any others, please tell us using the add a farm form!

Remember to always check with the farm's own website or Facebook page before you go - or call or email them if they don't have a website or Facebook page. Conditions at the farms and crops can change literally overnight, so if you want to avoid a wasted trip out there - check with the farm directly before you go! If I cannot reach them, I DON'T GO!

PLEASE report closed farms, broken links and incorrect info using the "Report Corrections" form below.

Dallas County

  • Iowa Orchard - apples, strawberries,
    13140 Nw 102nd Avenue on South side of Highway 141, Granger, IA 50109. Phone: (515) 276-0852. Email: Open: Monday through Sunday, from 8 am to 5 pm. Directions: . Click here for a map and directions. Payment: Cash, Check, Debit cards, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, WIC Vouchers, SFMNP Vouchers.
    Iowa Orchard Facebook page. . . For a map to our farm, Strawberry season is usually: late May through late June Apple season is usually: first weekend of September through middle of October. (ADDED: February 24, 2017)

Greene County

  • Deal's Orchard - apples, cherries, onions, pumpkins, Cider mill fresh apple cider made on the premises, gift shop, concessions \\/ refreshment stand, porta-potties are available, restrooms, jumping pillow, trike track, farm animals, school tours
    1102 244th Street, Jefferson, IA 50129. Phone: 515-386-8279. Email: Open: See our website for current hours Click here for current open hours, days and dates. Directions: Payment: Cash, Check, Debit cards, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, WIC Vouchers. . Click here for a map and directions. Payment: Cash, Check, Debit cards, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, WIC Vouchers.
    Deal's Orchard Facebook page. . Alternate Phone: 515-370-8279. . We have over 25 varieties of Iowa apples as well as tomatoes, sweet corn, pumpkins, holiday gift baskets, and plenty of other seasonal fruits and vegetables. In 1999 we planted our first crop of Scotch Pine trees and now have a wide selection of Christmas trees on our Tree Farm. In the fall, we invite you to come and enjoy our family fun zone, Apple Acres, as well as a corn maze, a pumpkin patch, and free weekend hayrack rides. Bring the family out to and make some memories finding the perfect Christmas tree or picking some ripe apples. If you'd prefer we do the work for you, visit the Apple Barn to buy something we carefully picked just for you.

Madison County

  • Burr Oak Farms - Apples, apricots, blackberries, cherries, nectarines, pears, peaches, plums, and prepicked produce
    1121 220th Street, Winterset, IA 50273. Phone: 515-462-1482. Email: Open: Mid June to Mid November Monday to Saturday 10 AM to 6 PM Payment: Cash, Check. Directions: Turn south from exit 100 on I 80. Go to stopsign (About 10 miles). Turn left to first gravel road (220th Street) Go to "Y". Take right fork on "Y" and we are at top of hill. . Click here for a map and directions. Payment: Cash, Check. . . Crops are usually available in June, July, August, September, October, November.

Marshall County

Polk County

  • Stewart Family Farm - apples, raspberries (Autumn, red), strawberries, Fresh eggs
    11687 Ne 126th Ave, Maxwell, IA 50161. Phone: (515) 967-6963. Open: CSA pickup days is Tuesday late afternoon into evening; strawberries are u - pick or we - pick from memorial day to 4th of july; raspberries are u pick in july, August, September. Directions: . Click here for a map and directions. Payment: Cash, only. . Alternate Phone: (515) 528-1511. (ADDED: February 06, 2017)
  • Upstream Gardens & Orchard - apples, asparagus, beans, beets, blackberries, blueberries, boysenberries, cherries, corn (sweet), cucumbers, currants (red and black), other berries, pears, peaches, peppers, plums, pumpkins, raspberries (red), raspberries (Spring, red), raspberries (Autumn, red), raspberries (yellow), raspberries (Spring, yellow), raspberries (Autumn, yellow), raspberries (black), raspberries (Spring, black), raspberries (Autumn, black), rhubarb, summer squash, winter squash, strawberries, tomatoes, walnuts, Honey from hives on the farm
    5987 Ne 88th St, Altoona, IA 50009. Phone: 515-957-1303. Email: Open: See the main page on our website for hours as they may change on a weekly basis. Directions: From I-80 exit 143, go south to NE 9th Street (where the median stops) and turn left. Go 2 miles and turn left again. Farm is on the right side of the road .7 miles from the turn. From Altoona, take 8th Street SW east out of town to NE 88th Street (East edge of the golf course) Turn left and go North.1.7 miles. Farm is on right side of the road. . Click here for a map and directions. Payment: Cash, Check, Debit cards, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, AmEx.
    Upstream Gardens & Orchard Facebook page. . Alternate Phone: 515-556-4197. . (UPDATED: April 29, 2022, JBS) (UPDATED: April 18, 2016)

Story County

  • Center Grove Orchard - apples, pumpkins, U-pick and already picked, gift shop, concessions \\/ refreshment stand, restrooms, picnic area, face painting, Jumping pillow, farm animals, birthday parties, school tours
    32835 610th Ave, Cambridge, IA 50046. Phone: 515-383-4354. Email: Open: September through Christmas, on Monday to Saturday from 9am to 7pm and Sunday from 11am to 6pm. Directions: Just north of Ankeny and south of Ames, 5 miles east of I-35 on Highway 210 (Exit 102, Cambridge). Then, north 1/8 mile on 610th Avenue. . Click here for a map and directions. Payment: Cash, Visa, MasterCard, Discover.
    Center Grove Orchard Facebook page. . Come be part of the lively atmosphere of our beautiful Central Iowa farm! We're sure you will gather as many happy memories as apples. Enjoy daily hayrides, corn pool, corn maze and hay maze, farm animals, pedal tractors, weekend festivals with live entertainment, and so much more. Don't forget our jumping pillow, rubber duck races, Three Little Pigs houses, and apple sling shot. We have the best (and only) Potty Barn anywhere in the Des Moines and Ames area! Of course, you can pick your own apples and find your perfect pumpkin.
  • McWilliams Apple Orchard - UPDATE: June 13, 2019: The owner tells me they are now permanently closed apples
    9773 NE 158th Avenue, Maxwell, IA 50161. Phone: (515) 240-4920. Open: permanently closed. Directions: From I-35, go East on Hwy 210. Go South on S-27 for about 2 miles. Turn left onto gravel road NE 158th Ave. We are the first place on the right. Varieties: Honeycrisp, Haralson, Chieftain, and Jonathan. We have four different varieties of apples: Honeycrisp, Jonathan, Chieftain, and Haralson. If you are looking for a quiet, Iowa, country apple orchard where you can relax and pick your own apples, this is the place for you. We don't have any other fancy entertainment, but we are simple, friendly, and best of all local. . Click here for a map and directions.
    McWilliams Apple Orchard Facebook page. . September - October; Sunday - Friday, Closed Saturdays. Please call for times; we are a small family orchard; Please call for you-pick times.
  • The Berry Patch - Integrated pest management, Apples, asparagus, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, currants (red and black), gooseberries, pumpkins, raspberries, rhubarb, strawberries, pumpkin patch- already gathered from the field, and prepicked produce, gift shop, snacks and refreshment stand, restrooms, picnic area, horse-drawn hay rides, tractor-pulled hay rides
    62785 280 Street, Nevada, IA 50201. Phone: 877-382-5138. Email: Open: Click here for picking updates. Directions: from Des Moines, north on I35 to exit 102,turn east on 210. Go east 5 miles to S14, go north 6 miles to 280 st. Go east 3/4 miles to Berry Patch Farm. From Ames: East on US 30 8 miles to S14. South 4 miles to 280 Street East 3/4 miles to Berry Patch Farm Directions and Mapquest on our web site. Click here for a map and directions. Payment: Cash, Check, Visa, MasterCard.
    The Berry Patch Facebook page. et, Nevada, IA 50201. . Crops are usually available in June, July, August, September, October. please check website for current hours. Heritage Red Raspberries and Fall Gold Raspberries, Apples; Honeycrisp, Earlygold, Gala, Mollies Delicious, Mac Intosh, Priscilla , Liberty, Red Cortland, Jonathon, Lura Red.

Tama County

  • Hinegardner Orchard - apples, strawberries, Pumpkin Patch, pumpkins, squash, cider, honey, caramel apples, pies.
    1348 295th Street, Montour, IA 50173. Phone: 641-492-6353. Open: Call for hours and availability; in 2022, Annual Apple Picks (Pick Your Own) Sept. Directions: . Click here for a map and directions. . 18th and 19th & Sept. 25th and 26th 7 AM to 6 PM. click here for a map. Apple Orchard, Strawberry Farm. facebook page.


Apple Picking Tips, Recipes and Information

Apples ripen from the outside of the tree towards the center, so the apples out the outside of the tree will ripen first.  Once they are picked, they stop ripening. Picking apples directly from a tree is easy. Roll the apple upwards off the branch and give a little twist; don't pull straight away from the tree. If two apples are joined together at the top, both will come away at the same time. Don't shake the trees or branches.  If the apple you are trying to pick drops, (or others on the tree) go ahead and pick it up. They're perfectly fine! But do wash them before you eat them! More info: How to tell when apples are ripe

  • Once picked, don't throw the apples into the baskets, place them in gently, or they will bruise and go bad more quickly.
  • Don't wash apples until just before using to prevent spoilage.
  • For an explanation of why apple slices turn brown and how to stop it, see this page!
  • Keep apples cool after picking to increase shelf life.  A cool basement is ideal, but the fruit/vegetable drawer of a refrigerator will work, too.  A refrigerator is fine for small quantities of apples. Boxed apples need to be kept in a cool, dark spot where they won't freeze. Freezing ruptures all of an apple's cells, turning it into one large bruise overnight. The usual solution is to store apples in a root cellar. But root cellars often have potatoes in them: apples and potatoes should never be stored in the same room because, as they age, potatoes release an otherwise ethylene gas, which makes apples spoil faster. If you can keep the gas away from your apples, they will keep just fine. Just don't store them right next to potatoes.
    Prevent contact between apples stored for the winter by wrapping them individually in sheets of newspaper. The easiest way to do this is to unfold a section of newspaper all the way and tear it into quarters. Then stack the wrapped apples . See more here: How to store apples at home
  • Apples don't improve or "ripen" after being picked - this is an urban myth - see this page for the truth - with references!

Which apple variety is best?

There are tens of thousands of varieties of apples, developed over centuries. They vary in sugar, acoidity, flavors, storing, crispness and many other attributes. See our guides to apple varieties:

Canning apples - fully illustrated, with step-by-step instructions

Recipes, illustrated with step by step instructions

Using fresh apples and miscellaneous


Other Local Farm Products (Honey, Horses, Milk, Meat, Eggs, Etc.)
(NOT pick-your-own, unless they are also listed above)