It Doesn’t Come Any Fresher Than This!

  • Visit North Central

If you’ve never enjoyed the intense flavor of a sun-ripened strawberry, fresh from the vine, or a plump blueberry just plucked from the branch, you’re in for a treat here in North Central Massachusetts!

IMG_9868Forget the plastic wrapped packages of produce that have travelled days before reaching your plate. Head out to a local farm or orchard and grab some really fresh fruit and veggies; you’ll find a world of difference when you munch on these locally-grown treasures.

Think about it:  juicy peaches, sweet blackberries, plump blueberries.

It’s fruit-picking season in Johnny Appleseed Country — and local farms and orchards are open, inviting visitors to fill baskets, bags or buckets with mouth-watering fresh fruits. Whether you’re looking to spend family time picking fruits, or just grab some tasty ingredients for baking or jam-making, opportunities abound.

Want more incentive to head out to the farm? How about picking some fresh flowers to207176194_3860180710760277_6353327122302984147_n brighten your home? Summer brings fields of blooms to local farms — and you’re invited to 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, raspberries, sweet cherries and peaches, as they ripen. Check their Facebook page daily to see what’s available, and stop by the farm stand for everything from hard cider to fresh eggs.

Lanni Orchards, 294 Chase Road, Lunenburg

This family farm will keep you coming back all summer for strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, peaches, seedless grapes, nectarines, plums, pears, apples, Concord grapes … and don’t forget the pumpkins in autumn!

Sholan Farms, 1125 Pleasant Street, Leominster

U-Pick blueberries, raspberries, apples and more will tempt you here — along with the great view overlooking the city!  This volunteer-run orchard usually holds special events throughout the season, too. Can’t get to the farm? Sholan also attends the Fitchburg Farmers Markets on Thursday and the Westminster Farmers Markets on Fridays.

Red Apple Farm, 455 Highland Avenue, Philllipston

The blueberries and raspberries are bountiful in July — sunflowers and peaches will be ready for picking by early August. Need a little refreshment?  Here’s a tip to entice the kids: The ice cream window is open, too.

IMG-8753Odd 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 Thursdays through Sundays, subject to weather; it’s a good idea to check their website to confirm current hours.

Hollis Hills Farm, 340 Marshall Road, Fitchburg

Love peaches? The Hollis Hills Farm orchard is filled with the sweet treats from mid-July through August. The pick-your-own season starts in June with a half-dozen varieties of strawberries, and continues into fall, with apples and sunflowers.

Bolton Orchards, 125 Still River Road, Bolton

No time to head into the field? Let someone else do the harvesting for you! Stop by Bolton Orchards, where freshly picked fruits are waiting for you to grab and go. Enjoy!    §