New England in the fall is an idyllic thing. It’s a time in which the trees change color and the wind blows in a way that’s coveted by less deciduous regions in the U.S. There are so many outdoor events to tackle in a New England fall, from choosing pumpkins, to hay rides, to cooking apple butter. But something that’s long been a favorite, since even before the advancement in technology we have today, is the act of foraging fall harvests.
Additionally, some don’t realize that there is also fun and beautiful foraging that can be done in the summer months, too. There is a wide array of fruits you can pick, simply by calling up farms and requesting a time and price to do so.
So, if you’re looking for something fun to do in this region, here are some suggestions for picking and gathering fruit from orchards and farms in New England.
One of the best places to go picking is in Massachusetts. According to the Massachusetts Harvest Calendar, September through October is generally the best time for apple picking. If you want to harvest berries, however, there will be some discrepancies in type. Blackberries and blueberries can be picked best in the latter of half of July and all of August, although blueberries are sometimes available in early September. Raspberries, however, can be picked throughout nearly all of July through September. Strawberries peak in the heart of June.
In the summertime, there is almost nothing as refreshing as a fresh berry. I personally love strawberries, as their tartness is perfect for pairing with confectioner’s sugar. In New England, since fruit picking is such a popular pastime, it’s recommended to always call ahead at farms and orchards to find out when is the best time for picking. There are so many farms to choose from, located anywhere from Connecticut, to Maine, to New Hampshire. You can find a good list of orchards and farms if you’re interested at the tripsavvy website.
For most people, however, fall tradition creates a craving for apple picking. For lovers of Robert Frost and the hearty New England traditions his writing implies, there is something about apple picking that just seems necessary in autumn. In Massachusetts, you can find an extensive variety of apples in orchards. September is the prime time for Honeycrisp, Golden Supreme, McIntosh, Royal Gala, Cortland, and more. Conversely, October is peak time for more distinct varieties that you can’t often get at the grocery store. Some of these include, Macouns, Jonagold, Cortland, Suncrisp, Northern Spy, and many more.
There’s really no limit when it comes to fruit picking in the region of New England. It’s been tokened a leading outdoor pastime for years. And most importantly, it’s something that you can do alone, in a romantic setting like a date, or even take your family or children to do.
It can be tiring sometimes to pick the same vacation destinations or events each year. In that sense, it becomes a bit of a task. But when it comes to New England, there’s so much history and so much natural world, that you’ll be hard-bent on finding something you really haven’t seen before.
Fruit picking is a great way to get outdoors that isn’t as strenuous as activities like hiking, for example. You get to pick your own fruit, hand-choosing exactly what you know you want to eat. That’s literally farm to table! And possible the best part? You can’t beat those views. The New England countryside is breathtaking in both summer and fall. It’s an opportunity you won’t want to miss.