October Orchard And Big E Friends!

Maple Bank Farm, Roxbury, Connecticut. (Bar Lois Weeks)

THIS WEEKEND may be your last chance to go apple picking at many New England orchards.

Many farm stores remain open year-round or through the holidays, but some smaller orchards with mostly pick-your-own will be done with the harvest in the next few days.

Check our Orchard Finder to see what is available.

Maple Bank Farm, Roxbury, Connecticut. (Bar Lois Weeks)
Half the fun is getting there. The entrance to Averill Farm, Washington Depot, Connecticut. (Russell Steven Powell)

There will be locally grown apples throughout fall and winter, of course, at orchard stores, farmers markets, and supermarkets. And there’s plenty of other action at the orchard, from cider donuts and mulled cider to pumpkins, pears, and honey.

The forecast is good and the foliage is great (though waning like the harvest), so now is the time to savor the season at an apple orchard!

There are plenty of late-season apples yet, including EverCrisp, Rogers Orchards, Shuttle Meadow, Southington, Connecticut. The orchard has a second Sunnymount location. (Russell Steven Powell)
March Farm, Bethlehem, Connecticut. (Bar Lois Weeks)

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THE BIG E (aka Eastern States Exposition), the nation’s fifth largest agricultural fair, had record attendance this year, drawing more than 1.7 million visitors during its 17-day run September 18 to October 2. 

The fair brings thousands of apple lovers to New England Apple Association’s booth in the Massachusetts Building along the Avenue of the States.

… returning year after year. (Bar Lois Weeks)
Some customers have become old friends … (Bar Lois Weeks)
The works! Apple crisp with cheddar cheese, ice cream, and whipped cream. (Bar Lois Weeks)
Newlyweds Denise and Wayne Young, owners of High Hill Orchard, Meriden, Connecticut. (Bar Lois Weeks)

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EACH YEAR introduces a new generation to apples fresh, baked, or pressed into cider.

Enjoying a Silken apple from Cold Spring Orchard, University of Massachusetts, Belchertown, Massachusetts. (Bar Lois Weeks)
Sisters love the fresh apple cider from Carlson Orchards, Harvard, Massachusetts. (Bar Lois Weeks)
A family’s first apple pie smoothie includes a whole RubyMac from Nestrovich Fruit Farm, Granville, Massachusetts. (Bar Lois Weeks)
He likes the cider! (Bar Lois Weeks)
Drew is two today! He celebrates with a McIntosh from Brookfield Orchards, North Brookfield, Massachusetts. Brother Sam ate a Ginger Gold, Red Apple Farm, Phillipston, Massachusetts. (Bar Lois Weeks)
Oceana and Ophelia enjoy apple cider while New England Apple Association’s Cosmo LaViola shares a laugh with a customer. (Bar Lois Weeks)
First Ginger Gold! (Bar Lois Weeks)
Savannah tries apple cider for first time and loves it. (Bar Lois Weeks)

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SERVING UP APPLES and information about the New England harvest are a combination of first-time volunteers and staffers who have worked in New England Apple Association’s booth for more than a decade promoting Massachusetts-grown apples, cider, and baked goods.

This is graphic designer Chris Weeks’s 12th year in the booth. (Bar Lois Weeks)
Sharon Gagnon serves customers in her sixth year. (Bar Lois Weeks)
Lori Lajoie with these apple pies straight from the oven in this, her third year. (Bar Lois Weeks)
Dave Donnis kept the cider flowing in his second year at the fair. (Bar Lois Weeks)
Communications Department students from Westfield State University interview Booth Manager Bar Lois Weeks, who has managed the booth since 2009. (Dave Donnis)
First-time volunteer Kathy Kurtz peels apples for crisp and will be back next year! (Bar Lois Weeks)
Cheryl Pigeon and Executive Director Russell Powell (background) have worked in the apple booth for more than 12 years. (Bar Lois Weeks)