Apples for All Ages and Places

One-year-old Lillyana Remillard, Chicopee, Massachusetts, munches her first Honeycrisp apple. (Russell Steven Powell)
Ninety-four-year-old Jane Yiznitsky, West Springfield, Massachusetts, enjoys melted cheddar on her apple pie. (Russell Steven Powell)

IF, as the English poet and hymnodist William Cowper (1731-1800) said, “Variety’s the very spice of life, that gives it all its flavor,” then New England apple orchards are a paragon of good taste.

Rich Clairwood, Norwich, Connecticut, is glad to see his favorite apple, Empire, from Phoenix Fruit Farm. (Russell Steven Powell)

New England apples, and the orchards that grow them, are incredibly diverse. Photographs and descriptions of more than 120 apple varieties can be found on the New England Apples website,, and the list is growing.

Sharon Gagnon serves a customer at the New England Apples booth in the Massachusetts Building at the Big E. (Russell Steven Powell)
Scott Soares, former Massachusetts commissioner of agriculture, grabs a Brookfield Orchard McIntosh.

THE “APPLES” LINK on our home page is a good start if you are looking for information about a favorite apple like Cortland or McIntosh, or an obscure one (Winthrop Greening). There are apples that date to 1500s (Gravenstein), and newer varieties like Nova or Pristine.

Ayriana, age 6, of Watertown, Connecticut, samples a cider donut.

There are predominantly red apples, of course (Crimson Crisp) green (Rhode Island Greening), yellow (Ginger Gold), and russeted (Roxbury Russet); sweet apples (Honeycrisp) or tart (Granny Smith).

Sisters Cathryn, 15, and Cassandra, 16, Nguyen, of East Lyme, Connecticut, with fresh Carlson Orchards cider. (Russell Steven Powell)
Mark and Lynn Yaglowski, Holland, Massachusetts, cool off with apple pie smoothies. (Russell Steven Powell)
Orlando Otero, Westfield Massachusetts, bites into a Ragged Hill Orchard Honeycrisp.

NEW ENGLAND ORCHARDS feature apples developed in Canada (Spencer), England (Cox’s Orange Pippin), France (Ananas Reinette), Japan (Sansa), the Netherlands (Karmijn de Sonnaville), and New Zealand (Gala). Their names are poetic (Florina Querina, Pitmaston Pineapple), prosaic (Hampshire), or descriptive (Sheep’s Nose, Twenty Ounce).

So start searching to learn about these and many more New England apples and the orchards that grow them.

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Andrew, age 8, and Christopher, 6, Almeida, Westfield, Massachusetts, dig into apple slushies. (Russell Steven Powell)

THERE IS PLENTY of variety for visitors to the New England apples booth in the Massachusetts Building at the Eastern States Exposition (“The Big E”) in West Springfield, Massachusetts. 

Elaine Buyanoski, Swanzey, New Hampshire, with her favorite apple, Cortland, from Phoenix Fruit Farm. (Russell Steven Powell)

Fairgoers get to sample apples from some of the best Massachusetts orchards, including BROOKFIELD ORCHARDS (North Brookfield), CARLSON ORCHARDS (Harvard), CLARKDALE FRUIT FARMS (Deerfield), COLD SPRING ORCHARD (Belchertown), PARK HILL ORCHARD (Easthampton), PHOENIX FRUIT FARM (Belchertown), PINE HILL ORCHARDS (Colrain), and RAGGED HILL ORCHARD (West Brookfield).

It’s an apple pie smoothie for Toby Walton and apple pie a la mode for Ashley Martel, both of Pittsfield, Massachusetts. (Russell Steven Powell)

Apple lovers satisfy their apple cravings at the booth with pie, crisp, or cider donuts, or imbibe fresh cider from Carlson Orchards (by itself, or in an apple pie smoothie or apple slushie), and get information about New England apples and orchards. Visitors come in ages from one to 94, from every New England state (and beyond), with variety to match the apples.

Shirley Kaczmarczyk, Athol, Massachusetts, starts her day with a cider donut. (Russell Steven Powell)

Come join us and add to the list! The Massachusetts Building is open daily from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. now through Sunday, September 29.

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THIS IS PRIME pick-your-own time at the orchard. Watch this short, four-minute video for some tips on how to prepare for your next visit: