Monday, August 31, 2009

Welcome to Apple Picking Season!

Article and photos by Eric H. Video by Worcester Love.

With summer vacation in the rear view mirror and a touch of fall in the air this morning, we can now turn our seasonal New England interests to great fall-time activities like apple picking. All over New England, commercial apple orchards report their "corp" businesses yielding an impressive supply of apples ready to pick from the trees. We recommend calling your chosen apple orchard before traveling there, however, because, as they say on the infomercials, "results may vary."

We can tell you that the picturesque Brookfield Orchards in North Brookfield, Mass., already has Paula Red apples, similar to a MacIntosh and typically one for the first varieties to be ready for picking. Brookfield Orchards reports that regular Macintosh and Cortland apples should be ready for picking by Labor Day Weekend.

Visiting Brookfield Orchards -- a fifth generation family-run business dating back to 1918 -- goes well beyond just apple picking, however. A charming country store with many architectural nooks and crannies features jams, jellies, maple products, Vermont cheddar cheese, candy, books, maps, crafts, antiques and collectibles. The snack bar and bakery is best known for its delicious homemade apple dumplings. Add some vanilla ice cream and flavorful Vermont cheddar cheese, and that is worth a visit to Brookfield Orchards by itself. September and October snack bar offerings include hot dogs, hamburgers, chili and macaroni and cheese while the year-round bakery features (besides apple dumplings) homemade apple pies, applecakes, chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin cookies. Brookfield Orchard also offers specialty pies in the fall and for the holidays (they are open, year-round except for Thanksgiving and Christmas days and the Fourth of July).

Brookfield Orchards also has a playground with swings, a slide and "twirl around" contraption.

Perhaps the most memorable aspect of Brookfield Orchards is its idyllic country location where an isolated scenic presence, the seemingly endless apple orchards, the pleasing aromatic combination of apples and fresh air, and the rolling central Massachusetts countryside with hilly views are enough to make you want to stay all day. It's hard to think of a more relaxing, beautiful location in New England for apple picking and beyond.

Brookfield Orchards
12 Lincoln Rd.
North Brookfield MA 01535
Phone 508- 867-6858- 877-622-7555

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