McIntosh, Cortland, Honey Crisp, Red Delicious, Jona Gold….so many wonderful varieties of apples, and one of the best ways to spend a fall afternoon is visiting a local “Pick Your Own” orchard. This time of year you can also buy locally grown, freshly picked apples at the farm stands, and try our famous cider donuts, fresh pressed apple cider, and of course apple pie the right way – with a slice of sharp Vermont cheddar! This year promises to be a bumper crop for Vermont apples so here’s a list of some of the best places to get your apple picking and tasting on.
Mad Tom Orchard – East Dorset, VT
Originally planted by the Parson’s family in 1940, Sylvia and Tom Smith, began restoring the Mad Tom Orchard in 1999. With over 100 of the best old trees and 1200 new trees you can pick McIntosh, Cortland, Gingergold, Zestar, Sansa, Gala, Honeycrisp, Macoun, Empire, Golden Delicious, Northern Spy, and Jonagold apples at Mad Tom. Surrounded by mountain views, this is a perfect spot to enjoy autumn in Vermont.
Terry’s Orchard – Bennington, VT
The classic, crisp, tart McIntosh apples comprise roughly 60 percent of the 16-acres of orchard at Terry’s, named after Terry Ehrich, the late editor and publisher of Hemmings Motor News, which owned the orchard from the mid-1980s. Now run by Perez Ehrich and his family, of Arlington, Terry’s orchard is a beautiful spot to spend the day picking. They do not have a website but you can find Terry’s at Rt. 7A & Houghton Lane, Bennington, VT (802) 558-0334.
The Apple Barn & Country Bake Shop – Bennington, VT
This family-owned business started with a tradition of superior quality apples grown at their 300 acre Southern Vermont Orchards that dates back to 1910. Over the years demand for their delicious apples direct from the farm gave birth to The Apple Barn where you can find not only a wide variety of apples, but everything from mini cider donuts to pies, fresh fudge, maple syrup and lots of other Vermont made products.
Dutton’s Farm Store – Manchester, VT
Paul Dutton grew up on his family’s dairy farm in Windham, Vermont and in 1983 he and his wife Wendy rented a small farm-stand in Townshend, selling berries and veggies. They started Dutton Berry Farm in Newfane and in 1990 bought their first apple orchard in West Brattleboro. The farm store in Manchester is a great place to find a wide variety of local apples, (and pies, cider, etc) along with lots of other Vermont produce and locally made products.