Fresh Air and Fresh Fruit Await Your Visit
- David Ginisi
Clear, fresh air. Sun-drenched fields. Beautiful vistas. What more could you ask for when you feel the urge to finally get out of the house and enjoy the countryside?
How about juicy peaches, sweet blueberries, or crisp apples?
It’s fruit-picking season in Johnny Appleseed Country — and local farms and orchards are open, inviting visitors — socially-distanced, of course — to fill baskets, bags or buckets with mouth-watering fresh fruits. Whether you want to spend some family time picking fruits yourself, or are anxious to grab some tasty ingredients for baking or jam-making, opportunities abound here.
Want more incentive to head out to the farm? How about picking some fresh flowers to brighten your home? The sunflowers are blooming at Red Apple Farm and Hollis Hills Farm! Stop by to fill a vase for your table!
Don’t know where to start? Here’s a sampling of pick-your-own farms and farmstands in North Central Massachusetts:
Carlson Orchards, 115 Oak Hill Road, Harvard
Pick your own blueberries and peaches, as they ripen (and don’t forget to visit the Cider Barn for a tasting and pints-to-go!). Check their Facebook daily to see what is available
Open Thursday & Sunday 11am to 6pm, Friday & Saturday 11am to 8pm.
Food truck on site certain Fri, Sat & Sun.
Hollis Hills Farm, 340 Marshall Rd., Fitchburg
Love peaches? The Hollis Hills Farm orchard is filled with the sweet treats from mid-July through August. Take the time to savor lunch or refreshing ice cream cone, or pick a bouquet of sunflowers and dahlias to take the beauty of the great outdoors home with you. Visiting on a weekend? Enjoy live music, too! Visit their facebook page for details.
Red Apple Farm, 455 Highland Ave., Philllipston
Early apples are available! The blueberries are bountiful, and sunflowers will be ready for picking by early August. Need a little refreshment? The ice cream window is open — and, of course, the Brew Barn is ready to wet your whistle with a microbrew or hard cider (and dish up live music Fridays through Sundays). Check their website for more details.
Odd Pine Farm-Upick Blueberry Farm, 122 Ferin Road, Ashburnham
Five acres of blueberries — four different varieties — with designated areas marked for picking each day. Bring your own containers. Open Thursday & Friday 6-6, Saturday 6-4, Sunday 6-1, subject to weather conditions; it’s a good idea to check their website to confirm current hours.
Sholan Farms, 1125 Pleasant St., Leominster
U-Pick Blueberries -Tuesday – Thursday – Saturday 8am-11am (and more raspberries expected in mid-August!). Open for U-Pick Apples starting August 22 — daily 10am-5pm.
Can’t get to the farm? Sholan is also attending the Fitchburg Farmers Markets on Thursday and the Westminster Farmers Markets on Fridays.
Written by: Pat Gale