Autumn in New England is by far one of the most beautiful times of year, and one in which I tend to feel most grateful to call this region home. The bright colors engulf the landscape, making even a stroll to the park feel more appealing. The change in season brings more than just a feast for you eyes, it is also a great time of year to indulge in one of my all time favorite fall activities, apple picking!
Apples were first introduced to the New England region of the U.S. by early settlers, who primarily harvested the apples to use in Cider. Over time, apples grew in popularity throughout the nation, and are now a very vital part of our economy.
“The United States is home to approximately 7,500 apple producers, which grow around 48,000 tons of apples per year, generating some $2.7 billion annually.” ~History.com
I love apples, and nothing compares to the crisp taste of freshly picked apple. It is fun to scan the rows and rows of trees, looking for the perfect apples, the ones that stand out from the rest and call to you. Lucky for those of us who dwell in cities or suburbs, farms across the U.S. open their doors to allow everyone the chance to experience eating freshly picked fruit.
With the season at it’s peak I packed my camera and headed to my local Pick Your Own (PYO) Farm. Boston Hill Farms, located in North Andover, MA has a wonderful selection of pick your own fruits throughout the year, strawberries and blueberries in the summer, peaches in August and September, apples and pumpkins in the fall. This fantastic small farm is a great destination for a day trip throughout the year, and for those of us in the Merrimack Valley, it’s proximity makes it all the more appealing.
Boston Hill Farm also has a great Farm Store, that offers other fresh veggies and produce, as well as baked goods, a nice selection of gourmet foods, and of course warm and delicious apple cider! In the warmer months you will also find ice cream you can enjoy with some of the farm’s other fantastic attractions.
The fantastic fall views, make the farm the perfect place for a romantic date. The Farm Store has everything you need for a perfect picnic, and since they also offer Hayrides you won’t have to cart your basket too far if you don’t want to.
Families wit small children are also in for a treat at the farm, as it features a charming authentic New England Play House, and a wooden tractor, a ship, and a train for children to play on, in addition to some pretty cool horse shaped tire swings.
One of my absolute favorite parts of the farm was the petting zoo! You can get up close with the animals, and they even sell feed at the Farm Store if you fancy getting really close to them. It had been years since I had been close to an animal that isn’t someone’s pet, and it is a great experience to remind ourselves of our connection with nature.
If you are not near North Andover or New England, not to worry, there are many different farms that allow you to pick your own fruits, so no matter what part of the region you are from you should be able to find a farm near you. Check out, pickyourown.org for help finding a farm near you anywhere in the U.S.
What is your favorite fall activity or date?
Open Year Round from 9am to 6pm
Address: 1370 Turnpike Street., North Andover, MA 01845