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Grow Local: Best Farms to Pick-Your-Own Apples

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Autumn is evocative of many things to different people. For some it's back to school, others think of the leaves changing color, some people who I don't understand become fixated on football. But to food lovers it's harvest time and there are few things more traditional in New England than apple picking in the Fall. Whether you're making pie, cobbler, candy or just putting one into the lunch box, here are some farms around Rhode Island that have great pick-your-own apple orchards.

Barden Family Orchard, 56 Elmdale Rd., North Scituate, RI 02857, open: 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Monday to Saturday, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Sunday. With apple trees dating back to 1931, the Bardens grow Macintosh, Gala, Cortland, Liberty, Jonagold, Macoun and other apple varieties on their family farm near Route 116 in North Scituate.  They also produce and sell their own apple cider from mid-September through March so make sure you stock up for the winter ahead.

Old Stone Orchard, 33 Colebrook Rd., Little Compton, RI 02837, open 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Thursday to Sunday. The drive to Little Compton is gorgeous any time of year, but especially now as the leaves turn Technicolor. In addition to pick-your-own apples the farm offers educational tours for children (please call in advance). Old Stone Orchard grows Ginger Gold, Jona Mac, Gala, Honey Crisp, Mcoun, Empire, Cortland, Jona Gold, Fuji, Ida Red and Granny Smith apples.

Pippin Orchard, 751 Pippin Orchard Rd., Cranston, RI, 02921, open 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday to Sunday. One of the more familar names around Western Cranston, look for the original Pippin Orchard, founded in 1964, just north of Scituate Avenue. They also sell pies, turnovers and candy apples.

Sweet Berry Farm, 915 Mitchell’s Lane, Middletown, RI 02842, open 8:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. Monday to Sunday. Nothing I can say about Sweet Berry Farm is going to match this list of pick-your-own apples: Macintosh, Golden Supreme, Gala, Macoun, Cortland, Honeycrisp, Jonagold, Empire, Liberty, Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, Mutsu Crispin, Cameo, Autumn Gala, Ida Red, Fuji, Braeburn and Granny Smith. Whew! There are also more things going on at Sweet Berry Farm than I could possibly list here so I highly recommend a visit. Look at that list!

Hazard Brothers Orchard, 99 Burnt Hill Rd., Scituate, RI 02831, open 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Friday to Sunday. Located on what was probably a very rural road when the orchard was established in 1961, Hazard Brothers is now surrounded by inevitable housing development just past the southern end of the Scituate Reservoir. That drive west out of Cranston on Route 12 is another of the prettiest spots in RI for leaf peeping so definitely seek out Hazard Brothers. They grow Macintosh, Cortland, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Cameo, Crispin, Macoun, Honey Crisp, Russet, Baldwin, Empire and the heritage apple variety that originated in RI, the RI Greening.


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