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.
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, newenglandapples.org, and the list is growing.
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.
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).
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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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.
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).
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.
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: