A is for Apple

  • Visit North Central

An apple a day …. The apple of your eye …. Comparing apples to oranges. No matter how you slice it, apples are an important part of our American lexicon. In fact, sayings about this fabulous fruit are as American as apple pie.

Here in Johnny Appleseed Country, apples seem to crop up everywhere you look. Roadside stands display bushel baskets of shiny fruit. Bakery tables are piled high with apple desserts. Apple signs abound as you travel local highways and byways.

There’s no doubt about it; Johnny Appleseed left his mark on this region —and the nation. If you’ve come to North Central Massachusetts in search of apples, you’ve certainly come to the right place. From late July right through to frosty weather, local orchards offer a wonderful family experience. You can pick your own, or make your selections from brimming farmstand baskets. Don’t know what variety is best for your purposes? The folks at the farms and stands will steer you in the right direction.

And if you think apples are just for pies, well, think again. Here in Johnny Appleseed Country, you’ll find apple dumplings and apple doughnuts, apple cider and apple soda — and on a warm day, apple cider slushies to help you chill out. And when temperatures drop, a mug of hot mulled cider will hit the spot.

In communities along the Johnny Appleseed Trail, apples are celebrated all year through — with apple blossom festivals in the spring, and apple harvest festivals in the fall. A visit to Sholan Farms in Leominster offers insight into just how ingrained apples are in the community; this working farm overlooking the Nashua River valley is staffed by volunteers who are always eager to talk about the orchard and the man who gave the region its identity.

In addition to apple picking, many local orchards offer a host of special events, from concerts to hayrides and weekend barbecues, helping to make your visit an experience to remember.
Baldwins and Empires; Granny Smiths and Ginger Golds; Macouns and McIntoshes; Romes and Russets — so many varieties to choose from, so many flavors to sample. Gather the family, pack up the car, and head out to a local orchard for a day of fun, fruit and festivity.