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Where can I taste that apple?

While we pride ourselves with our variety descriptions, there’s nothing like the real thing. No words can compare to the taste. Frequently I’m asked, “Where can I taste a ….?” Here are a few suggestions.

The best place to taste apples in Maine is the Great Maine Apple Day, Sunday, October 27, 2013 in Unity.

Maine:
Visit the orchards near you. Call the Maine Dept of Ag at (207)287-3491, or visit them on-line at getrealmaine.com for a complete list of the orchards in Maine. Many have unusual varieties. Even one or two rare finds can be worth the trip. Below are a few orchards with wonderful collections. I’m sure there are others. Don’t be frustrated if you call and reach no one. Just go. By September most of them are open 6 or 7 days a week.
• Ricker Hill Orchards, Turner, Androscoggin County (207)225-5552, rickerhill.com. Organic apples and more, mostly modern varieties.
• Sweetser’s Apple Barrel and Orchards, Cumberland Center, Cumberland County (207)829-3074, maineapple.com. A great collection of 39 old and new varieties. Their pride and joy is an ancient Rolfe tree. Don’t miss it.
• Bailey’s Orchard, Whitefield, Lincoln County (207)549-7680, One of the largest collections of old varieties in the state. Pears, plums and crabapples, too.
• Lakeside Orchards, Manchester, Kennebec County (207)622-2479, lakesideorchards.com. Organic apples and a good collection of mostly new varieties.

• Maine-ly Apples, Dixmont, Penobscot County (207)234-2043, mainelyapples.com. A growing collection of old and new varieties.
• Rollins Orchard, Garland, Penobscot County (207)924-3504, A very good collection of over 20 unusual old varieties. Plums and pears, too.
• Sandy River Orchard, Mercer, Somerset County (207) 587-2563, sandyriverapples.com. Established in 1852 by the Fenton family. A huge collection of over 140 varieties, many old and unusual.
• The Apple Farm, Fairfield, Somerset County (207)453-7656, A great collection of unusual old and new varieties.
• Cayford Orchards, Skowhegan, Somerset County (207)474-5200, cayfordorchards.com. 57 varieties of tree fruit on a sixth-generation family farm.
Sewall’s Orchard, Lincolnville, Waldo County (207)763-3956, sewallorchard.com. Organic apples including some of the first disease-resistant releases.
• Dole’s Orchard, Limington, York County (207)793-4409, dolesorchard.com. Mix of old and new. They have two un-named varieties crossed by the late Maine plant breeder, Russell Bailey. Both are extremely rare, if not unique.

Other New England States:
I know a few orchards with good collections outside of Maine. If you know of any we should list, please let us know. An online search could direct you to an orchard nearby.
• Nashoba Valley Winery, Bolton, MA. (978)779-5521, www.nashobawinery.com. A large collection of old and new varieties.
• Tower Hill Botanic Garden, Boylston, MA (508)869-6111, towerhillbg.org. The best collection of historic varieties in New England. At last count, 119 all labeled in an arboretum-type setting. A great place to study the fruit. Usually for sale at a special event over Columbus Day weekend. Call ahead.
• Hutchins Farm, Concord, MA (978)369-2480, hutchinsfarm.com.Nice collection of old and mostly newer varieties.
• Old Sturbridge Village, Sturbridge, MA (508)347-3362, osv.org. Apple days: October 5-6, 2013.
• Gould Hill Orchard, Contoocook, NH (603)746-3811, gouldhillfarm.com. Large collection of new and old varieties.
• Poverty Lane Orchards, Lebanon, NH (603)448-1511, povertylaneorchards.com. Likely the best collection of unusual dessert apples in New England. One of the largest collection of cider apples in the U.S. They have most the cider varieties we sell.
• Alyson’s Orchard, Walpole, NH (603)756-9800, alysonsorchard.com. Large collection of new and old varieties.

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