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Apple Picking close to Boston

m
MtVernon Oct 13, 2010 07:32 AM

Looking for a place close to Boston (hour drive) for great apple picking, cider donuts and pumpkins? suggestions?

  1. h
    Highland Park Oct 13, 2010 06:11 PM

    Doe Orchards and Carlson Orchards in Harvard should have apples left this weekend for picking. No crowds or craziness at either of these places. Carlson may have some cider donuts, but I can't guarantee that. For some of the best cider around, go to Phil's, not too far away, also in Harvard just on the south side of Rte. 2. His cider is unpasteurized and perhaps the best I've had. He can tell you the exact blend of apples used for your gallon. Pumpkin's should be available in the area as well. I did see some at Doe's a week ago, although not an impressive selection.

    If you don't like crowds (like me) stay away from Honey Pot, Tougas, Parlee, etc...

    Check the conditions before heading out since apple season is wrapping up early this year as others have mentioned.

    1. Mike5966 Oct 13, 2010 11:40 AM

      Last year we checked out Russell Farms in Ipswich. Great apples, beautiful scenery, nice barn/store with good apple fritters/donuts. The day we were there, they had a wine festival and were pouring over 20 samples from their winery (3 ciders, a bunch of other wines based on blackberry, raspberry, blueberry, etc.), most of which were a little funky and sweet, but still fun to drink at 11 AM. Their Apple and Wine Festival will happen again this year the first two weekends in November.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Mike5966
        gabreality Oct 13, 2010 02:56 PM

        I'm seconding Russel. Good apples, great cider (some hard stuff too!) some pumpkins, and beautiful drive but not too far or too crowded.
        - Gaby
        http://behindboston.blogspot.com

      2. Gio Oct 13, 2010 09:08 AM

        Apple picking at Alfalfa Farm, Rowley Bridge Road, Topsfield, right across the street from the winery. They have 8 or 9 different varieties.
        http://www.alfalfafarmwinery.com/

        1. srgoodman Oct 13, 2010 09:06 AM

          Cider Hill Farm in Amesbury may still have pick your own apples. Probably worth a call first. They definitely have pumpkins and yummy freshly made cider doughnuts (and cider).

          http://www.ciderhill.com

          -----
          Cider Hill Farm
          45 Fern Ave, Amesbury, MA

          4 Replies
          1. re: srgoodman
            eLizard Oct 13, 2010 12:30 PM

            i was there last weekend with my husband, my 15 month old and my friend and her 11 month old. it was perfect. snag a wagon if you have little ones.

            1. re: srgoodman
              s
              stomachofsteel Oct 13, 2010 02:16 PM

              Just went there yesterday and had their cider doughnuts for the first time...warm, fresh and the tastiest I have ever had (better than Russell Orchards, I think). I didn't pick but I didn't see anything indicating they were picked out, and they had a pretty good variety of apples in their store.

              1. re: stomachofsteel
                eLizard Oct 14, 2010 07:01 AM

                those hot off the presses donuts are a little bit of heaven, aren't they?

              2. re: srgoodman
                m
                Madrid Oct 13, 2010 07:58 PM

                cider is great there and unpasteurized. can be frozen for future use. I don't eat doughnuts...except the warm cider ones from cider hill.

              3. hiddenboston Oct 13, 2010 08:19 AM

                If you don't mind the crowds (although this late in the season, it shouldn't be too bad), Honeypot in Stow is a great place for apple picking, pumpkins, and cider donuts.

                For a quieter, less well-known place, Kimball Fruit Farm in Pepperell is terrific--great views of the mountains to the west from there, by the way.

                3 Replies
                1. re: hiddenboston
                  h
                  hazelhurst Oct 13, 2010 08:29 AM

                  I will add those to my list to try.....for years (when in the Commonwealth at the right time of year)I have always gone to Dowse's. Never had better cider.

                  1. re: hazelhurst
                    Science Chick Oct 13, 2010 08:48 AM

                    I agree that Dowse's cider is wonderful. However, picking is pretty much done by now. We headed out to Autumn Hill in Groton last weekend (10/10/10) and they were pretty much picked out. What remained were not great (been on trees too long by now). Best bet is to purchase some already picked ones from a good farm stand. Dowse's is great for that, as are many, many others listed on the boards (Russell Orchards/Ipswich, Volante Farms/Needham, Nashoba Vineyards (Acton).

                    1. re: Science Chick
                      h
                      hazelhurst Oct 13, 2010 08:50 AM

                      I hadn't heard the recent reports but I heard the season would run-its-course early so I ordered some.

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