It’s Apple Season in Maine! Which variety is your favorite in the Greater Portland Area?
There’s a crispness in the air that says that Fall is near……but maybe we already know that since the leaves are changing from their green colors to shades of crimson, gold, orange and even some purple. It’s not peak season, yet, in Southern Maine—but it’s just around the corner.
And around that corner you will find apples in Maine. All kinds of apples from the traditional McIntosh, Cortland, Macoun and Paula Reds– and for those that like a sweeter apple—Honeycrisp.
Around Portland, there are some choices close by in Cumberland and North Yarmouth, but also a few places worth the drive like in New Gloucester—but also a bit further West to Limington, and Hiram.
Here’s some places you just have to try:
Sweetser’s Apple Barrel and Orchards in Cumberland offers 50 varieties of apples with choices from tart to sweet that will please everyone in the family. At this time of the year they offer McIntosh, Cortland, Honeycrisp, Gala, Macoun, and Empire. But also look at the limited-edition apples of Sweet Tart, Harralson, Wolf River, Somerset of Maine, Rolfe, Sweet 16, and Rhode Island Greening. There are also some late season varieties available of Northern Spy, Red Spy, Spencer and Liberty. This orchard also offers already picked apples if you don’t feel like picking your own. In their farm store they offer fresh cider, cider doughnuts, and other sweet treats. They also offer gift packs that can be shipped for you holiday orders.
In North Yarmouth you have the family-run “pick-your-own” apples Hansel’s Orchard. This orchard offers McIntosh, Cortland, Macoun, and Gretel. In case you don’t want to pick your own apples, you can also choose from the apples they have graciously picked for you in their apple boxes. For those that are picking, you can choose your basket size from bushel, half-bushel, peck, half-peck, and quarter peck. Nearer the end of the season you can use the long poles to get those special apples way up high in the trees.
A little further away in New Gloucester you will find Thompson’s Orchards on Gloucester Hill Road. Thompson’s offers a fine variety of offerings from apples to baked goods. Try some of their warm-from-the-oven pumpkin or apple cider doughnuts—worth waiting for. This Orchard also offers their gazebo for weddings and events and can make your wedding cake right there, too. Check out their farm store for Maine-made goodies and pies– and their craft shop selling primitives and other items from local artisans. Open through December.
Heading West on Route 25, you have a couple of more orchards worth the drive. First is Apple Acres Farm in Hiram which bills itself as ‘Southern Maine’s organically managed pick your own.’ This farm is a 45-minute drive from Portland offering 10 varieties of apples including Honeycrisp. Their farm store offers over 100 Maine-made products like fudge, cider donuts, pies, ice cream, and you can also buy lunch. Additional produce in the warmer months like peaches, pears, plums, cherries, raspberries, and blueberries. In 2019 you can also expect the addition of hard cider, sweet cider, and a variety of vinegars. Have children with you? You can enjoy the playground on-site when some steam needs to be let out!
And lastly, we have Brackett’s Orchards in Limington. This hilltop farm and orchard offers spectacular views while you’re picking beautiful fruit. This farm and orchard is thought to be the oldest family-owned orchard in the State of Maine. On the weekends you can enjoy hayrides, pumpkin painting, baked goods, and even some balloons! Look on their event page for special events including music.
And then, sit back and enjoy a crisp apple and some cider. Maybe throw in a couple of freshly-baked doughnuts warm from the stove. It’s Fall in Maine—ENJOY!