New England’s Diverse Diversified Orchards

A field of flowers greets visitors at Dame Farm and Orchards, Johnston, Rhode Island. (Russell Steven Powell)

VISITING RHODE ISLAND’S orchards is a little different from most of New England. There is generally less acreage, and few grand views from mountaintops.

But the apples are abundant and flavorful, the orchards accessible and beautifully maintained. At some orchards, the rows between the trees are as smooth as a lawn.

Like most of their New England counterparts, Rhode Island orchards are diversified farms. In addition to apples, you will find other tree fruits, vegetables, baked goods, and other locally grown or produced products.

You may not get a majestic view of the countryside, but you might encounter a field full of flowers or even catch a glimpse of the New England coastline. 

As always, visit our Orchard Finder for news about your favorite orchard and to see what’s picking in your neighborhood.

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YOU CAN USE fall raspberries or substitute peaches in the recipe for Apple Raspberry Crisp. Or use both!

The apple trees create a living sculpture garden at Pippin Orchard, Cranston, Rhode Island.
Hanging apple tree, part of the living sculpture garden at Pippin Orchards, Cranston, Rhode Island. (Russell Steven Powell)
Young Family Farm, Little Compton, Rhode Island, like Hill Orchards has good peaches but a smaller than normal apple crop. (Russell Steven Powell)
Peaches are plentiful at Hill Orchards, Johnston, Rhode Island, although pick-your-own apples have been canceled at the orchard due to a light crop. (Russell Steven Powell)
Zestar! apples at Pippin Orchard, Cranston, Rhode Island. (Russell Steven Powell)
Honeycrisp will be ready in a few weeks at Steere Orchard, Greenville, Rhode Island. This weekend Steere will have Paula Red apples and peaches. (Russell Steven Powell)

Apple Raspberry Crisp

FOR A SPECTACULAR variation on apple crisp, add raspberries. The resulting mix of flavors is complex and superb, as both fruits combine sweet and tart characteristics that mesh well together. The red-and-green apple skins and red, seeded raspberries add color and texture to this tantalizing dessert.

Apple Raspberry Crisp is easy to make, too. All it takes is a generous cupful of fresh raspberries added to your favorite recipe for apple crisp.

Our favorite recipe was handed down from Lois Castell Browne to her granddaughter, Bar Lois Weeks, executive director of the New England Apple Association.

Filling

6 New England apples such as Honeycrisp or McIntosh, or a mix

1½ c fresh or frozen raspberries

1 T lemon juice

1 t cinnamon

½ t salt

¼ t nutmeg

Topping

¾ c whole wheat flour

¼ c old-fashioned oats

¼ c brown sugar or maple syrup

5 T butter

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a three-quart baking dish.

Apple Raspberry Crisp (Russell Steven Powell)Core and slice apples and place in baking dish. Sprinkle lemon juice, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg over apples. Add raspberries, and set aside.

In medium bowl, use a pastry cutter to blend whole wheat flour, oats, brown sugar and butter until butter pieces are the size of peas or smaller. Sprinkle evenly over filling.

Bake for about 50 minutes, until apples are soft.

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