Great October Apples

Baldwin apples, Boothby Orchard and Winery, Livermore, Maine. (Russell Steven Powell)

SOME OF THE BEST APPLES of the New England harvest ripen in October. As days grow shorter and nights get cooler, the apples gain in spiciness, intensity, and complexity.

These varieties can’t be missed if you are to experience the apple’s astonishing range of textures, colors, and flavors. It’s a great time to be at the orchard!

Click on the link for each apple to see it up close and learn about its history and best uses — and where to find it.

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More than most years, there is great variability in this year’s crop. Some orchards experienced storm damage or had smaller-than-normal crops.

Ripening times vary in New England, and pick-your-own has been so popular this fall that some orchards are closing as early as this weekend. If you are hunting for certain late-season varieties, this is not the year to put it off!

Even without pick-your-own, though, there are plenty of places to find new or favorite apples. Most farm stands and orchard stores will remain open throughout the fall, and if you can’t make it out to the orchard, look for New England apples in your grocery store.

As always, use the Orchard Finder to contact you favorite orchard or to seek a new destination.

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ENJOY a leisurely scroll through this virtual “orchard” to learn more about some of these late-season apples and a few of the places that grow them.

Braeburn apples, Buell’s Orchard, Eastford, Connecticut, have more Vitamin C than most apples. (Russell Steven Powell)
Cameo apples in September, Hackett’s Orchard, South Hero, Vermont, a few weeks before harvest. (Russell Steven Powell)
EverCrisp apples, Tougas Family Farm, Northborough, Massachusetts. (Russell Steven Powell)
Freedom apples, Chapin Orchard, Essex Junction, Vermont. (Russell Steven Powell)
Fuji apples, Pietree Orchard, Sweden, Maine. (Russell Steven Powell)
Golden Delicious apples, Norton Brothers Fruit Farm, Cheshire, Connecticut. (Bar Lois Weeks)
Granny Smith apples, Rogers Orchards, Southington, Connecticut. (Bar Lois Weeks)
Idared apples, Stone Mountain Farm, Belmont, New Hampshire. Idared’s flavor improves in storage. (Russell Steven Powell)
Lady apples, Sholan Farm, Leominster, Massachusetts. (Bar Lois Weeks)
Mutsu apple, Mack’s Apples, Londonderry, New Hampshire. (Russell Steven Powell)
Northern Spy apples, Green Mountain Orchards, Putney, Vermont. (Russell Steven Powell)
Pink Lady apples, Butternut Farm, Farmington, New Hampshire, in September, before they have gained their full color. (Russell Steven Powell)
Pink Lady apple after it has gained its trademark color, Tougas Family Farm, Northborough, Massachusetts. (Russell Steven Powell)
Red Delicious apples, North Star Orchard, Madison, Maine. The eastern variety of Red Delicious is known for its superior flavor. (Russell Steven Powell)
Rhode Island Greening apples, Averill Farm, Washington Depot, Connecticut. (Bar Lois Weeks)
Shizuka apple, Butternut Farm, Farmington, New Hampshire. This large, unusual apple has great flavor. (Russell Steven Powell)
Stayman Winesap, Windy Hill Farm, Great Barrington, Massachusetts. (Russell Steven Powell)
Suncrisp apples, Ricker Hill Orchards, Turner, Maine. (Bar Lois Weeks)
Wickson apples, Apple Hill Farm, Concord, New Hampshire, are particularly good in cider. (Russell Steven Powell)