Slideshow Fallback Image

Apple & Pumpkin Picking Season!

August 26th, 2018 by Paul Kolimas

apple picking near Galena

A glimpse of the apple orchard at Dittmar in 2017. Dittmar Farms & Orchard is in Elizabeth, about 20 minutes from Galena

pumpkin picking near Galena

Pumpkin patch at Dittmar Farms & Orchard

A sure sign that fall is on the way is the opening of Dittmar Farms & Orchard.  That officially happens on Saturday, September 1, much to the delight of apple- and pumpkin-pickers across the area. Dittmar Farms began in 1854 when Erhardt Dittmar left Germany and settled in Illinois.  The Farms are located in Elizabeth, the first town east of Galena and about twenty minutes from Cloran Mansion.

Dittmar farms offers an opportunity to pick your own apples and pumpkins. Vistors can also go on hayrides, work their way through a corn maze, listen to live music, eat apple-cider donuts, have some caramel apples, and in general enjoy fall in the Midwest. Of course it is a great place for family fun.  But for couples looking to get away and have some time together in the outdoors, Dittmar offers a wonderful escape.

Just reading about it reminds me a lot of one of my family’s annual rituals. Ever since my wife Janet and I began dating more than twenty years ago, we would make an annual visit to an apple farm in Wisconsin.  In some years our daughters went (until they became too cool for it :).  Other years we were joined by nephews and nieces.  But always there was the two of us, invariably bringing home more apples than we could eat or my wife could bake.  We gave the rest away, but apples (or pumpkins) were never really the main point anyway.  It was a chance to get outside in some fresh air, enjoy each other’s company, and watch others do the same.

The web site for Dittmar Farms & Orchard is, and it also has a page on Facebook.  It is located at 256 South Gerber Road in Elizabeth, and admission is $5.  It will be open on Saturdays (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and Sundays (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.) through the fall.  People seeking more information can call 815-218-0597.

The pictures in this post are from the Dittmar Farms website.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

facebook twitter pinterest mail rss