If you're going apple picking in the Hudson Valley you'll need to decide ahead of time if you want a half peck, peck or even a bushel of apples before you head out into the orchard.

Of course, you can't decide that until you know exactly what a bushel or a peck is.

Most people who go apple picking just grab some empty sacks at the roadside stand, head out to the orchard and start picking apples like crazy. This usually ends with buying way too many apples, lugging them home and then wondering what you're going to do with them all.

Before you go apple picking, it's best to decide exactly what you're going to use your fresh apples for so you can properly buy the correct varities in the right amounts. Some apples are better for baking while others are better for eating, so do your research before making your plan.

Now that you know what apples you want, just how many do you need? Most orchards hand out bags that are either a half-peck or peck. Those paper bags of apples you see in the grocery store are usually a half-peck, containing 5 or 6 pounds of apples. This is just about the right size to make two large apple pies. A full peck of apples will weigh 10 to 13 pounds and contain about 30 good-sized apples, enough for a couple of pies and plenty of fresh apples to enjoy on their own.

If you're going to be banking some serious pies, making applesauce or just really love to eat fresh apples, you could always purchase a bushel of apples, which is four full pecks of fruit. If you think you'll go through 40 to 50 pounds of fruit, it's the best deal. But if you don't plan on using that many apples, make sure you have lots of fruit-loving friends that will be happy to take them off your hands.

5 Highest-Rated Hotels in the Hudson Valley

If you have guests visiting from out of town who need a place to stay, these five hotels received the best reviews from the users of Tripadvisor. They were all ranked the highest by travelers who stayed there.