The crunch of a freshly picked apple from a local orchard seems to make the fruit extra tasty. Plus, apple picking offers an adventure for the whole family. Orchards in southeastern Massachusetts enjoy great weather for growing apples, including warm days and cooler nights. These conditions result in great-tasting apples that start ripening in September. Several orchards in the area offer you-pick fruit.
Find a nearby apple orchard that offers the type of apples you want to pick. Plan to pick apples in September or October when most of the fruit matures. The area around Acushnet in Bristol County includes several farms that sell apples including Keiths Farm, Perry Hill Orchards and Peters Family Orchard & Cider Mill. In Plymouth County, try C.N. Smith Farms or Singleton Orchards, both in East Bridgewater. The orchards grow varieties such as McIntosh, Corland, Northern Spy, Red Delicious and Honeycrisp.
Give the orchard a call in advance to find out when the variety of apples you want to pick are ripe and which days you can pick them. Make a complete adventure out of the apple picking by going when the farm offers fun events such as C.N. Smith Farm's Columbus Day Harvest Hoe-Down with rides, music and food. Peters Family Orchard & Cider Mill offers tractor rides on weekends. Singleton Orchards offers hayrides.
Bring enough containers to the apple orchard to hold your fruit. Use smaller boxes and pails you can easily carry once they get full. Check with the orchard to see if it provides boxes. The orchards will provide you with a bag if you forget your own containers. If you want more fruit than you can pick, you can buy picked apples at some of the orchards, including Peters Family Orchard & Cider Mill. The orchard also sells fresh apple cider.
Ask the orchard which trees are producing the ripest fruit that day. The orchard will show you to the trees it wants you to pick from.
Look for ripe apples on the outer edges of the tree, as this is where the ripest fruit appears. The best apples show no blemishes.
Grasp the ripe apple in the palm of your hand, then give it a quick twist with your wrist to release it from the branch. The stem of the apple should remain intact, indicating a perfectly ripe piece of fruit.
Carefully place the apple in your container, and look for the next ripe apple to pick.