Pastel Pleasures

  • Visit North Central

It’s hard to wait for the taste of that first ripe apple, straight from the tree and still warm from the sun.

If you’re touring Johnny Appleseed Country in the spring, you know that you’re just too early to pluck a shiny orb from an apple tree branch. Although most folks think that apples aren’t available till fall, the earliest, like the Vista Bella, actually ripen in July, and many — like the Ginger Golds, Jersey Macs and Paula Reds — area ready to pick in August.

Oh, you may say, it’s only May, and not nearly time to visit a local orchard.

But wait! You don’t want to miss one of the most beautiful times of the year in Johnny Appleseed Country!

pastel pleasuresHave you ever visited an orchard when it’s in full bloom? The pink and white blossoms  on row after row of apple trees will simply take your breath away. Pack up the kids. Grab a camera. This is perfect photo season!

The beauty — and anticipation — of apple blossom time isn’t lost on local farmers, either. Apple blossom time means it’s time for apple blossom festivals!

Lanni Orchards in Lunenburg celebrates the season with an entire weekend of activities on May 13 and 14. Sunday is Mother’s Day, too — so what better gift for Mom than a day in the sunshine, surrounded by clouds of apple blossoms?

The following weekend — on Saturday, May 20 — Sholan Farms in Leominster presents its annual Apple Blossom Festival, complete with children’s activities, crafters, pony rides, music and food trucks. Sholan Farms, operated by a dedicated cadre of volunteers, sits high above the city, offering fabulous vistas of spring in bloom.

For details on these festivals, see the Calendar section in this Guide.

While not every orchard plans a special event to celebrate blossom time, most are open for visits and well worth a trip to enjoy Mother Nature’s show, and check out the goodies in their farm stores.

And if you enjoyed the tour, be sure to come back in late summer or fall, to wander through the orchards, pick your favorite variety of apples — and join the fun at an apple harvest festival!