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Beckwith Orchards: Apple Wonderland

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This week’s adventure led me only two miles from home to Beckwith Orchards. Though it is not permitted to pick apples directly from the trees, there is still something about the local farm that makes it a worthy place to visit for your apple experience this fall.

Beckwith Orchards is family owned and has been in existence for more than 125 years. How about dem apples?? Upon further research, I learned that the orchard not only houses apple trees, but also grows peaches, nectarines and other seasonal items.

What to see

During our visit, my fellow autumn-loving friends and I witnessed a batch of smiling locals: a young family getting professional photos taken, a college couple enjoying the beautiful October Saturday, pet owners with their dogs.

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The environment is very community-like, complete with approachable workers of all ages engaging in friendly small talk.

One of my favorite parts of the farm is an old, rundown cottage tucked away in a patch of woods. It what I imagine the witch’s house would look like in Hansel and Gretel. It appears to be unoccupied. Though I’m sure, if you asked, employees would gladly explain its past purpose, I find it more exciting for the answer to remain a mystery.

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Continuing on, we came across a painted set of drawers. As soon as I saw them, I immediately approached them, thinking they offered a creative photo opportunity. However, the closer I got, the more I realized I was approaching danger. The first hint: a subtle, but very present buzzing.

You probably are more perceptive then me and already know where I’m headingwith this, but they quartered live bees. Once I grasped this, it wasn’t long before I was hurrying away from the manmade hives. I learned that the honey from the bees is sold in the orchard store (another great perk of visiting).

What to purchase

IMG_1763During this time of the year, the store also offers unique autumn items like fall-themed cookie cutters, perfectly distorted gourds and apple-infused pancake mix.

It seriously is an apple wonderland topped off with an alluring scent that leads you to the attached bakery. It took every bone in our body to resist purchasing a pie slice. We were rewarded, however with a glimpse at the largest apple we’ve ever come across on the bakery counter. The worker informed us it was close to two pounds. Craziness!

How to get in touch

Being a public relations student, I couldn’t help but look at Beckwith’s from a communications perspective, most specifically at their use of Facebook. I was very impressed with the page because it was visually appealing, informative and responsive, especially since a majority of the pages on their website are under construction.

The cover photo and profile picture are very appropriate and clearly indicate the theme of the orchard. The administrator of the page also posts pictures of the farm frequently, which receive an impressive amount of Likes. It’s great they are taking advantage of how picturesque the land is. I wanted to Like just about every picture myself!

They also shared content from other sources, which is a great way to prompt conversation and form a connection with other online outlets.

There’s not much more frustrating than having to excessively search for (what should be) simple answers about, such as hours, contact information and location. That’s not a problem with the Beckwith’s Facebook. Everything you need to know is present at the top of the page.

As far as responsiveness goes, I sifted through the comments left by enthusiasts. Most comments are very positive: people raving about their experience sometimes even complete with pictures. You can almost always find a reply to these posts from Beckwith Orchards. This connection encourages long-term relationships between farm-visitors and the orchard.  Responding to comments is a practice every company with a Facebook should imitate.

However, I did notice one negative comment that Beckwith’s neglected to acknowledge. This is a “no-no: from a PR perspective.  The concern should be addressed as quickly as possible and with an understanding/sympathetic tone. In this case, the customer wasn’t happy that he couldn’t pick apples directly from the trees, because employees claimed it was difficult to direct him toward which apples to pick.

In my opinion, Beckwith’s should have further explained its reasoning and offered some kind of incentive for the man to visit again.

However, overall, I believe Beckwith’s is doing a fantastic job in using a social media channel to reach and connect with locals.

How this is related to Triple Threat Wellness

Apples are not only delicious but also great for you. I also recently heard that apples could be more effective in keeping you awake than the caffeine in coffee.

As far as the mental aspect goes, visiting a local venue can help clear your mind and feel part of the community.

Now it’s time for you to reach out. What fall activity helps you clear your mind?

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