Crisp, clear days, cool nights, and apple blossoms turned to sweet and tangy fruit. It’s fall in New England; time to get outdoors and savor the sun while it’s still warm.
Apple picking is one of the best ways to seize the season. You’ll find plenty of farms and orchards throughout New England ready to host this family-friendly activity, one with the sweetest rewards. There are hundreds of options to choose from, but here’s one highlight from each state in the region, just to give you a head start.
Connecticut: Bell Town Hill Orchards — More than 24 varieties of apples are ready for picking into early November. Upon arrival, folks at Bell Town Hill will offer advice on choosing the best apples, how to store them, and how to prepare them for freezing. There is also a chart on hand, detailing the texture, flavor, uses, and storage of all the different varieties. You can pick the ones that best suit your taste preferences. Apples are priced by the pound – you grab a bag or a box and head out to find the ones you like. — 483 Matson Hill Road, South Glastonbury Conn., belltownorchards.com
Rhode Island: Barden Family Orchard — Started by John and Hazel Barden in 1931, the orchard has seen current owners, the Barden grandchildren, build on their base, expand the crops, open a farm stand, and produce their own apple cider, right on the premises. Picking season here runs through October (or the first hard freeze). Priced by the peck or bushel, the orchard is open daily. There is an apple picking chart with information on what varieties are qualities available on any given day. They encourage pickers to sample apples along the way to find the ones they like best. There are even dwarf trees which present apples within easy reach for children. Hayrides are offered on Sundays between Columbus Day and Halloween. — 56 Elmdale Road, North Scituate, R.I., bardenfamilyorchard.com