Orchards of N. E.

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Pick Your Own Orchards of Massachusetts –

Orchards, a New England Heritage

The apple orchard is a symbol of New England’s heritage and pride, stemming back to the earliest times of our colonial roots. (See the history section for details about early apple growing history). Many of the local orchard growers in central Massachusetts were interviewed while conducting research for Apple of Your Pie. Their stories are fascinating because of the personal character that each grower lends to the historic tapestry, and because apple growing in the late 19th century and the first half of the 20th century was such a significant part of New England’s agriculture and commerce.Visit a New England orchard or farm stand and give them your business! Pick apples or other seasonal fruit, see the animals, go for a hay ride. It’s an enjoyable way to spend a day with your family and friends.Farm stands and orchards on the off-season: Many orchards are closed during the winter and early spring season. However, a good number are still open for retail business and are a good place for fresh apples, cider, jams, etc. Also, several orchards provide access to their land for outdoor recreation. For example orchards make a great place for cross skiing during the winter. Call around.For a complete listing of farm stands and pick-your own orchards go to the Massachusetts orchard page. (Other States coming soon!)Doe Orchards of Harvard, MA Carlson Orchards, established in 1936, Harvard, MA 
Before you go a-picking, a few things to remember:
Dress for the occasion: walking shoes or boots are a good idea. The orchards don’t have sidewalks and the grass can be wet.
Call ahead: confirm the hours the orchard is open, the types of facilities, and that the apple varieties you want will be on the trees.
Bring: sun screen, water, jacket or sweater, (fall afternoons can be cool), a container for apples. Bags are usually provided, but not always.Proper apple picking
Picking apples directly from a tree is easy, but done incorrectly you can damage next year’s crop. To minimize apple tree damage roll the apple upwards off the branch and twist. Do not pull straight away from the tree. Also, if two apples are joined together (top-to-top) picking one means you will undoubtedly pick both. Hold one in each hand and twist gently in counter-rotating directions.Please don’t shake the tree or branches, and if an apple you are trying to pick drops, (or the one next to it) pick it up. It’s perfectly good and should not be wasted.

APPLES and ORCHARDS: Apple History – Antique Apples – Apple Varieties – Orchards of N.E.
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