“Get up, boys!” shouts Bonnie Terry, who brings her three large white Percheron horses, adorned with bells and festive colors, to Melick’s Town Farm in Califon each fall. The horses pull wagonloads of visitors around the farm’s 200 acres. Passing through the Melick orchards, Terry explains what each apple is best for, eating or baking.
“We are one of the state’s largest apple growers,” says 10th-generation farmer Rebecca Melick. “We never get picked out.” Pick-your-own apples typically are available through early November.
The farm (472 County Road 513; 908-832-2905) also has a sprawling pumpkin patch and a herd of goats and sheep. The farm is open daily from 9 am to 6 pm; horse-drawn wagon rides are available from noon to 4 pm on fall weekends.
The Melick family has tilled the land for nearly 300 years and, with three additional locations in New Jersey, maintains a total of 650 acres of apple and peach trees, as well as fields of strawberries and corn. The family’s farm stands also carry gourmet goodies like jellies, jams, vinaigrettes and baked goods.
In Oldwick, at 19 King Street, Melick’s has 50 acres of apple orchards as well as a cider mill. Hayrides are available on fall weekends. Nearby, at 170 Oldwick Road, the farm stand carries plants, shrubs and, for the holidays, Christmas trees.