As autumn approaches, orchards ripe for apple picking

The season of cider and apple pies is upon us. Photo via longislandpress.com
The season of cider and apple pies is upon us. Credit: Long Island Press

Officials from the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources today reported the state’s apple orchards have a strong crop of lush fruit “perfect for picking,” with growers boasting above average apple sizes this fall.

“Apples are symbolic of fall in Massachusetts,” said DAR Commissioner Greg Watson. “Crisp weekends are perfect for apple-picking with the family and friends, as well as supporting local farmers.”

Commissioner Watson urged residents to take advantage of the many great local varieties growers produce by apple picking at Massachusetts orchards, and perusing farm stands and farmers markets.

“More than 80 percent of small farms in the Commonwealth are family-owned, which makes every purchase of local produce an important part of building community and economic growth,” said DAR marketing and agri-tourism coordinator Rick Leblanc, who visited the Big Apple Farm in Wrentham yesterday. Big Apple Farm is celebrating its 101st anniversary this year.

Massachusetts boasts more than 100 varieties of apples, including local favorites such as McIntosh, Cortland, Macoun, Gala and Honeycrisp. According to the United States Apple Association, apples contain no fat, cholesterol or sodium and are excellent sources of fiber, natural plant-based antioxidants and the mineral boron, which promotes healthy bones.

Take a bite out of these Massachusetts apple facts:

• There are approximately 369 apple farms in Massachusetts.
• The value of the Massachusetts apple crop in 2011 was more than $19.4 million.
• Massachusetts ranks 12th nationally for the total value of apple production. In terms of ranking by total production, Massachusetts ranks 15th.
• More than 40 percent of apple growers market their apples directly to consumers through roadside farm stands, farmers markets and pick-your-own operations.

For a list of Massachusetts apple orchards, pick-your-own apple farms, farmers markets and roadside produce stands, DAR has an easy-to-use farm finder which provides information about local farms, their locations and contact information.

Follow Morgan Rousseau on Twitter: @MetroMorgan
Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Police seek man accidentally released a year early…

Cops are keeping an eye out for a Bronx man who was reportedly let out of Rikers Island a year before his released date.

National

Pioneers for domestic violence push on

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article. Two decades have passed since the O.J. Simpson trial captivated the country. But in the 20 years…

Local

Newest java joint in bastion of hipness is…

Little may represent the change the neighborhood is undergoing right now like the arrival of the first Starbucks. The chain which is ubiquitous in Manhattan, opened a Williamsburg store at…

National

Black and white are the new orange at…

By Brendan O'Brien(Reuters) - Black and white are the new orange in a Michigan county where the sheriff has made a wardrobe change for jail…

Music

Avey Tare's Slasher Flicks more accessible than Animal…

Believe it or not, Avey Tare — the man in the mustachioed mask pictured here in the pool of blood — may have made the poppiest music of his career.

Entertainment

‘The Leftovers’ recap: Season 1, Episode 4, ‘B.J.…

Last week’s episode of “The Leftovers” was apparently a fluke, because this week’s episode returns to focusing on the Garveys and it is so boring.…

Movies

Interview: Luc Besson says 'Lucy' is very different…

Filmmaker Luc Besson talks about his new film "Lucy," how it's different than "Limitless" and his crazy first conversation with Egyptian actor Amr Waked.

Music

Weezer releases first new song since 2010

Weezer releases "Back to the Shack," their first new song in almost six years.

NFL

'Vicktory dogs' travel road to rehabilitation seven years…

Of the dozens of dogs groomed by Bad Newz Kennels, 48 were rescued and 22 of the pit bull terriers have emerged at Best Friends Animal Society.

MLB

Yankees looking at trade for Cliff Lee, according…

Yankees looking at trade for Cliff Lee, according to report

NFL

Giants lineman Chris Snee to retire: Reports

The Giants report to training camp on Tuesday, but Chris Snee may not be there when they do.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony talks about his charity work in…

As he is used to doing every year, NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony is going to visit Puerto Rico to do work for his foundation.

Tech

RocketSkates let users roll with a motor

Los Angeles company Acton has raised funds on Kickstarter to roll out a nifty alternative – motor-powered "RocketSkates."

Tech

Knicks star Carmelo Anthony becomes a tech entrepreneur

He's been an All-Star, an Olympian, and a celebrity spokesperson. Now NBA player Carmelo Anthony is adding the position "tech entrepreneur" to his resume. Along…

Tech

Ulises 1 is the world's first singing satellite

A group of artists and engineers in Mexico have unveiled Ulises 1, the world's first opera-singing satellite.

Home

Wallscape on a budget

Skip the wallpaper and ombre an accent wall instead.