I am an apple-loving guy. I start each and every day with apple juice, and on average, I consume 5-7 apples per week. Year round, no matter the season, our house is always fully supplied with apples. Even though I'm constantly in an apple mood, like many people, when this season rolls around, I feel and hear the call of the apple orchards.

Maybe it's the festive decorations for fall, the pumpkin spice smell wafting through the air, the opportunity to fill a bushel basket with lots of delicious and fragrant things I don't need, I don't really know. But come September, we're planning our orchard outings.

Maybe you have a favorite apple orchard to visit, or maybe you're an equal-opportunity aficionado looking for some new places to haunt in autumn. Here's a quick rundown on some apple orchards within easy driving distance of Rockford:

Orchard Ridge Farms (6786 Yale Bridge Rd, Rockton)

Curran's Orchard (6385 Kilburn Ave, Rockford)

Valley Orchard (811 E State St, Cherry Valley)

Edwards Apple Orchard (7061 Centerville Rd, Poplar Grove)

Royal Oak Farm Orchard (15908 Hebron Rd, Harvard)

Woodstock Country Orchard (17015 Garden Valley Rd, Woodstock)

Lang's Orchard (17411 Secor Rd, Woodstock)

Prairie Sky Orchard (4914 N Union Rd, Union)

All Seasons Apple Orchard (14510 IL-176, Woodstock)

By the way, do you have any idea how many different types of apples are out there? If you guessed "about 7500," congratulations!

Now, go ahead and name them all. I'll wait.


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