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Ode to New Hampshire’s Orchards

Looking Ahead to a Fruit-full Fall Season

 

No matter what side of the pumpkin spice debate you’re on, for it or against it, the fact is fall is upon us. For those of us lucky enough to live in New Hampshire, the fall season means the opportunity to visit some incredible local orchards and bring home a bounty worth bragging about.

So, what exactly is ripe for the picking in New Hampshire starting in September? We’ll give you the highlights, along with the best pick your own (PYO) places in the state… and maybe even a recipe or two for good measure.

Read on and ready yourself for a fruitful fall season

Autumn’s Abundance

Although most people think of apples when it comes to fall fruits in New England, you can harvest an extensive variety of fruits and vegetables starting in September. The New Hampshire Department of Agriculture, Markets & Food has published a harvest guide, detailing which fruits and vegetables to pick and when.

In keeping with fan favorites, like apples, we’ve compiled a shortlist of some of New Hampshire’s most popular apple orchards. In most cases, each one of our suggestions offers far more than just apples, with some featuring farm stands brimming with all sorts of in-season fruits and vegetables — not to mention locally produced cheeses, meats, wines, and baked goods.

What we’re trying to say is, you just can’t miss any of the following orchards in our area…

The Prize for PYO Goes to…

We couldn’t just pick one orchard to spotlight in this piece, so we’re presenting five that we think are worth the distinction and, depending on your location, the drive.

Carter Hill Orchard — Concord, NH

Let’s start in our capital city with Carter Hill Orchard. When you visit this property, take a minute to appreciate the fact that a working orchard has existed here since the 1760s. Current owners Rob and Annette Larocque have made several improvements, including expanding the farm stand and bakery, as well as adding family-friendly features like a playground, observation tower, and walking trails. Check out their complete list of apple varieties and the best times to pick them.

Poverty Lane Orchards — Lebanon, NH

Don’t let the name of this gorgeous orchard fool you. Rich with apple trees representing all sorts of varieties, including some most of us have never heard of, Poverty Lane Orchards also features Farnum Hill Ciders, which hosts fun events like Growler Days. Make a day out of it by packing a picnic or visit Salt hill Irish pub in downtown Lebanon for a post-PYO pint.

Lull Farm — Hollis, NH

Not to be confused with their farmstand in MilfordLull Farm in Hollis has all the PYO apples you could want, along with pumpkins and an entire grocery, complete with a bakery and floral department. Not far from Lull Farm, you’ll find Fulchino Vineyard, which offers a variety of wines made from grapes cultivated right in New Hampshire’s soil. Stop in for a tasting and leave with a vintage to compliment the apples and cheeses purchased from Lull.

Mack’s Apples — Londonderry, NH

Of the approximate 400 acres that make up Mack’s Apples, 100 of those are reserved strictly for apple cultivation. The oldest single-family-run orchard in the state, Mack’s Apples also has a farm stand and ice cream stand, as well as plenty of opportunities to PYO apples and pumpkins.

Hackleboro Orchards — Canterbury, NH

A great spot for families, Hackleboro Orchards offers an impressive variety of apples to pick, many of which are accessible by weekend tractor rides. In addition, kids will get a kick out of visiting the farm animals on-site, while everyone will appreciate the view deck and the potential for a picnic.

No doubt you have your fall recipes and family favorites that will benefit from some of NH’s freshest fall produce. May we also suggest the following? Each one is ideal to celebrate the season, whether you prefer savory or sweet treats.

Take a Bite Out of These Irresistible Fall Recipes

If you tune in to the Food Network or the local and even national news programs, you’ll likely see some featured recipes that celebrate the fall season. We’re sticking close to home with the recipes we’re sharing here. Our friends at New England Today feature 10 apple recipes that go beyond the traditional apple pie.

Of course, apples are meant for so much more than dessert or breakfast. Check out Chowhound’s savory apple recipes that combine our New England apple harvest with some internationally inspired flavors.

We would love to know your favorite apple orchards and invite you to share some fun fall recipes with us on social media, too! 

In the meantime, for all your banking needs, contact the team at your local Franklin Savings Bank. 

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