Apple Season in Full Swing

Ava enjoys an apple. (Bar Lois Weeks)

IT WAS A GREAT DAY Saturday for apple lovers of all ages as they flocked to New England apple orchards for what was, for many, their first taste of the season.

New England is known for its tremendous variety of apples, and nowhere was this more evident than at at Sholan Farms, Leominster, Massachusetts, where 22 early season apples from 11 New England orchards were on display at the inaugural “New England traveling apple and cider museum.”

With good weather and an outstanding 2021 crop, this coming weekend should bring even more variety as the fresh harvest progresses. Visit our Orchard Finder to see what is being picked at an orchard near you.

New England Apple Association Associate Director Bar Lois Weeks engages visitors to the more than 20 early season apple varieties from New England orchards. (Carlin Carr)

Apples for the traveling museum came from:

(Click on the apple or orchard name for more information)

These Dolgo Crabapples from Scott Farm Orchard, Dummerston, Vermont, have a tart flavor with a hint of cranberry. They make a beautiful, rose-colored jelly. (Bar Lois Weeks)

The Big Apple, Wrentham, Massachusetts: Dandee RedGravensteinPaula Red

Brookdale Fruit Farm, Hollis, New Hampshire: Zestar!

Carlson Orchards, Harvard, Massachusetts: Premier Honeycrisp

Green Mountain Orchards, Putney, Vermont: Premier Honeycrisp

Mountain Orchard, Granville, Massachusetts: Red GravensteinTydeman

Park Hill Orchard, Easthampton, Massachusetts: Ginger Gold, Dandee Red

The heirloom Wealthy, from Pine Hill Orchards, Colrain, Massachusetts, was discovered in Minnesota in 1861 from seeds sent by a Maine farmer. (Bar Lois Weeks)

Pine Hill Orchards, Colrain, Massachusets: Twenty Ounce, Wealthy

Red Apple Farm, Phillipston, Massachusetts: Duchess of OldenburgGravensteinPaula RedPuritan, Williams’ Pride

Scott Farm Orchard, Dummerston, Vermont: Chestnut Crabapple, Dolgo CrabappleGravensteinLamb Abbey PearmainSt. Edmund’s RussetWorcester Pearmain

Sholan Farms, Leominster, Massachusetts: Red CortlandGinger GoldMarshall McIntosh, Zestar!

Akane, a juicy early season apple with a hint of strawberry, grown at Tougas Family Farm, Northborough, Massachusetts. (Bar Lois Weeks)

Tougas Family Farm, Northborough, Massachusetts: AkaneSansa

Sholan Farms volunteers Felcia Harwood and Linda DeMego serve fresh cider provided by Carlson Orchards, Harvard, Massachusetts. (Bar Lois Weeks)
Paul Correnty regales the crowd with his presentation on the history of cider. (Bar Lois Weeks)
New England Apple Association Executive Director Russell Steven Powell describes Ginger Gold, one of 22 early season apples. (Carlin Carr)
Home brewer Jack Donahue demonstrates how to make hard cider. (Carlin Carr)
Mark Richardson tells the story of Tower Hill Botanic Garden’s preservation orchard, newly replanted with more than 100 rare varieties. (Bar Lois Weeks)

FACES IN THE CROWD

Ashley Randle, Massachusetts Deputy Commissioner of Agriculture, with a Marshall McIntosh from Sholan Farms. Ripening before the regular McIntosh, Marshall McIntosh is a new strain discovered in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, in 1967. (Bar Lois Weeks)
Massachusetts State Representatives Natalie Higgins of Leominster, Lindsay Sabadosa of Northampton, Sholan Farms President Joanne DiNardo, and New England Apple Association Executive Director Russell Steven Powell. (Carlin Carr)
Leominster Mayor Dean J. Mazzarella asked good questions of the presenters. (Bar Lois Weeks)
Rick Leblanc, Massgrown Coordinator for the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, admiring the early season apples. (Bar Lois Weeks)
Enjoying apples while learning about locally grown fruit. (Bar Lois Weeks)
An attentive crowd listens to the speakers. (Bar Lois Weeks)
Artist Jan Ruby-Crystal leads her apple painting workshop for children. (Carlin Carr)
Eli reads about the varieties from the New England apples brochure that folds out like a poster. (Bar Lois Weeks)

MAKING ART IN THE ORCHARD

Artist Debra Cootware of Greenfield, Massachusetts, one of the many painters who set up their easels at Sholan Farms Saturday. (Carlin Carr)
“Orchard Late Summer with Tractor,” by plein air painter Christine Copeland, of Northfield, Massachusetts.
Plein air painting by Melissa Pandina of Westborough, Massachusetts.

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