Apples. The fruit of fall. How we love to pluck thee from thy branch, and pay for that privilege!
Seriously though, there are lots of reasons to get excited about apple picking. It’s a great excuse to get outside, and, if you time it right, see some of those famously bright New England leaves. You can support local agriculture. And don’t forget all that yummy apple goodness. There has to be some reason why an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Fiber, perhaps?
There are plenty of pick-your-own orchards in Massachusetts, and I’m sure each of them offer something special to suit everyone’s needs. I like proximity to home. The Vachette likes ladders. So we went to Honey Pot Hill Orchards in Stow, a 25 mile drive from home.
Honey Pot Hill features many apple varieties: Empire, McIntosh, Cortland, Red Delicious, Macoun, Golden Delicious, Mutsu, Spencer, etc. The tree types are marked, and they have examples of the different apples on display. They also provide recipe suggestions since some apples are better suited for pie than others.
The day we went was the last week for pear picking. You can mix pears and apples in the same picking bag, which the Vachette was more than happy to do, because the pear trees also had— wait for it —- LADDERS!
As if that weren’t fun enough for a four year old who is part monkey, we got to take a tractor-pulled hay ride between the pickings areas. (The farm covered 180 acres.)
The hay ride included a stop at the farm store where we bought some freshly made cider doughnut. No wonder the Vachette looks so happy. Mmm… doughnuts.