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Sep 4, 2003 11:05 AM

Apple Picking?

  • g

Fall is in the air and a young man's fancy turns to apple picking. Does anyone have favorite places in the Boston area? We are thinking of going on a weekday to avoid crowds and have more apples on the trees. Has anyone been to an orchard on a Monday?

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  1. Haven't been on a Monday, but One Stack Farm off 117 in Stow has a good selection, great prices, and wasn't very crowded last year on Sunday. The Pats were playing the Jets that day.
    The usual suspects, Honey Pot Hill, etc are listed in the Globe.
    Marino's in Natick, worth the trip for the Gelato alone, is also good for selection. It is more of a tourist trap. One Columbus Day Sunday we went late, around 3:30-4 and the line TO PAY for already picked apples was 45 minutes. We opted to buy them from their farms stand instead, but it is a fun experience for kids. Atrain and animals are also available.

    1. Just curious-- why would there be more apples on the trees on a weekday? It's not like they grow back after a heavy weekend of picking. Also, orchards typically open a few rows at a time to picking, and open new ones when the others are depleted, so there is generally not a problem finding available fruit.

      2 Replies
      1. re: AlanH

        Good point. I guess I was thinking apples per capita (i.e. fewer people, more apples per person). I recall a terrible apple picking day near NYC where they transplanted whole city blocks of Manhattan and armed everyone with picking poles. Very unpleasant.

        1. re: gourmaniac

          Yikes! That sounds terrrible.
          I've never had a problem with accessibilty at any of the orchards around 495 (Stow, Harvard, etc.). They'll usually take you out by hay wagon at the larger orchards, directly to the open rows. Worst case I've had to wait a bit in line to get out there, and this has always been on weekends for me.

      2. I've never been on a Monday, but I have noticed in the past few years that October has been too late for good choices, so now might be the time to go. Cider Hill in Amesbury looks great; I'm going to try it out this year. Their website has details of which fruits are available for picking (they still have peaches!)and they are open weekdays. Site is Also there is a MA agricultural site that lists various Pick-Your-Own sites; you might find that helpful.


        1. We very much enjoy Drew farms in Westford - great macs and cortlands early and red and gold delicious later. Tractor ride from the parking area to the orchard. They have other varieties in their store, but their main picking apples are those I mentioned. The store is right off the Westford exit (32) on I-495. They have maps at the store to their picking area. They have no problems with picking poles (some places won't allow them - I don't know why as it allows the top apples to be picked without climbing, which is never allowed).

          Cheap picking pole: Take a 1-liter soda bottle, and cut in half - discard bottom half. Tape the bottle mouth to an old broomstick with duct tape upside down so that the open part of the bottle extends away from the broomhandle). Cut a sharp notch (v)somewhere in the open part of the bottle. Use the notch to locate the stem of the fruit(s) you want and twist the pole (from underneath) - fruit(s) fall into your bottle.

          1. Red Apple Farm in Phillipston off Route 2 has a huge selection of varieties. We go several times each season and it's worth the long trip. See link below.


            1 Reply
            1. re: Samovar

              Second. Plus they have a store if you want variety but don't want to bother picking (no way I need that many apples). Many orchards were picked out for PYO last year during/after Columbus Day weekend due to a string of glorious weekends and a slightly smaller harvest. Yields look good this year but we've had those glorious weekends...