Sunday, October 12, 2008

Apple Picking at Russell Orchards

Autumn activities in New England continued yesterday with a visit to Russell Orchards in Ipswitch, MA for a day of apple picking, hay rides, farm stand shopping, and farm animal gazing. Perhaps gazing is the wrong word when attempting to describe seeing a 1,000 pig. Staring of gawking might fit better.

We took two cars up north - Chris, Kevin the Texan, and me in one. Jamen, Todd, and Jamen's NC friend Jenny in the other. Traffic on 128 wasn't a walk in the orchard, as we had to contend with folks heading to both Salem and the Topsfield Fair.

Back in New York, apple picking was a simple event. Go to the local orchard, grab a bag and a couple poles, wander into the orchards, and reach the pole up to the high branches where the best fruit grew. Come home, mom makes awesome apple crisp, and on we go.

It appears that picking apples in New England doesn't always involve poles. There were none to be found at Russell Orchards, and a few of my New England friends didn't seem to know what I was talking about.

Nonetheless, we grabbed the mandatory hayride out to the apples, paid $15 for a 10 pound bag (the price of apple picking has also risen significantly since my last harvesting experience), and wandered through the well-organized rows.

While many of the tress were picked clean, we found plenty of Cortland and Macouns still remaining.

After the apple picking and photo ops, we caught a hayride back to the main area, put our manzanas in our coches, and then returned for some fruit wine and farm animals.

Who doesn't love looking at goats and 1,000 pound pigs?

Overall, this place was packed but well worth the trip - a live folk band, children running around, pumpkin patches, apples, and dandelion wine - all a great diversion from yet another weekend in the city.

During the ride back, we somehow ended up once again in Topsfield Fair traffic. The line of cars coming off 128 (in the opposite direction from us) was simply startling, enough to cower with the thought of attending that event next year.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hm 1000 pig.... I think I will pass on that. Apple picking is fun, I got 2 full bags last week and made a Rougemont Apple Pastry cake!