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Blog :: 09-2013

Enjoy Delicious Heirloom Apples from Vermont Orchards

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Fall in Vermont means a lot of things to different people. Some think of the beautiful Vermont foliage in the mountains, while others think of the fast-approaching winter (and the ski season that comes with it). For many, fall is harvest time, and there's no better way to experience it than with flavorful heirloom apples.

Vermont Heirloom Apples For the uninitiated, an heirloom apple is a variety of apple that is less commonly grown and that has its roots in historic varieties that have been grown for more than 75 years. In fact, many varieties have existed for centuries. Heirloom apples may look different from the Red Delicious and Gala apples we know and love - they may have spots or striped colors, odd shapes, and be exceptionally large or small. But nearly all of them are worth trying, especially if you've only ever had apples from the supermarket.

If you're interested in trying some heirloom apples while enjoying the fall in Vermont, you're in luck. Some of the nation's best heirloom apple orchards are in Vermont and New Hampshire, and they're keeping different varieties of apples alive that have been enjoyed for hundreds of years. These apples are quite literally right out of the pages of history, and are taken from trees all over the world.

For instance, take a look at the different varieties grown at Scott Farm Orchard, a historic apple orchard that has been growing fruit since 1791. The orchard currently grows more than 90 varieties of heirloom apple on its 571 acres, including such rare and unusual varieties as the Black Oxford, the Roxbury Russet, and the Yellow Transparent.

Once you've sampled the heirloom varieties, you can also pick your own apples at Scott Farm on their Pick Your Own orchard. You can even Pick for Your Neighbor, where the apples you pick will be set aside for use by the local food bank.

Another great local heirloom apple orchard is Alyson's Orchard, a 450-acre orchard that grows apples, peaches, plums, nectarines, berries, and more. You can pick your own heirloom apples here, and also visit their fantastic Farm Stand, where they sell locally-produced products such as jam, maple syrup, and wines grown from local vineyards. Apple picking Vermont

There are lots of other places to go apple-picking in southern Vermont, too. If you want to know where you can pick regular varieties of apples like McIntosh and Paula Reds, take a look at this blog post we put together on apple picking.

And of course, after a full day of picking and carrying apples, you'll probably be in for some much-needed rest. Why not take it at one of our unforgettable southern Vermont rental properties? You're sure to enjoy the extra amenities and all the space - perfect for holding bushels of fruit or baking up a fresh apple pie. We know you'll find one you'll love.

Comments

  1. Patty Killion on

    […] dessert, and you can make a truly distinctive apple pie with some of Vermont’s famous heirloom apples, available at several different nearby orchards. These apples have unique flavors and textures that […]
    • Patty Killion on

      […] dessert, and you can make a truly distinctive apple pie with some of Vermont’s famous heirloom apples, available at several different nearby orchards. These apples have unique flavors and textures that […]

      Tips for Solving a Corn Maze

      Fall Activities Corn Maze in VermontThe corn maze ranks among favorite fall activities in Vermont for young and old, whether you're hoping to get lost for a few hours or to make it through in record time. With fun designs, lots of twists and turns, and sometimes a few frights (we'll get to that later), corn mazes are a great way to get out and enjoy the crisp autumn air in Vermont. Many Vermont corn mazes offer more than just the "maize", and you can expect to find a lot of extra things to do with the kids.

      At Gaines Farm in Guilford, Vermont, after making it through the maze, visitors can ride a "cow train," nosh on favorite fall foods, play pumpkin bowling and visit goats, pigs, rabbits and chickens in the barn. For older maze-goers, the ghosts and ghouls from Gaines Farm's "horrifying" 230-year history rise up for a haunted hayride and haunted maze in October (see tip #5).

      Since you only want to get temporarily lost in a labyrinth of stalks, here are a few helpful tips for successfully solving a corn maze:

      1. Take a look at the map to get an idea of the shape of the corn maze. Even if you don't use the map to navigate, studying it before hand will help you know which general direction to go in. Plus, figuring out the first few turns will help ward off early corn-maze-vexation.

      Tips for Solving Corn Mazes2. Look for landmarks at the edges of the maze. Trees, telephone poles, buildings, even road noise can help you bear in the right direction -- find them before heading into the maze. At the Kettle Farms corn maze in Hoosick Falls, NY, a broad tree line on one side of the maze will help you keep your bearings.

      3. Want to do it the easy way? Keep the map out (if you have one) and track your progress through the labyrinth. For more of a challenge, stash the map in a pocket. Gaines Farm hides clues in the maze for a quick hint, or you can choose to rely on a sense of direction and trial-and-error -- if you dare.

      4. Track where you've gone. When the walls are made out of corn, well, they start to look the same pretty quickly. Look for landmarks, like broken stalks, ones that grew crooked, fallen ears or even trees in the distance.

      5. If you go for a fright in a haunted maze at Gaines Farm, make sure to pack your typical monster defenses: garlic, a tennis ball or squeaky toy to distract the werewolves, and good running shoes if all else fails.

      6. If all else fails, and you're really, really lost, put your left hand on the left wall and keep walking -- eventually, you'll get out.

      Unlike the exit to a corn maze, it's not hard to find a comfortable and convenient fall vacation home rental close to the famous Vermont fall foliage, food and festivals.

      • P.O. BOX 415, 9 Haystack Road, Wilmington VT 05363