Friday, November 25, 2016
On the north shore of Massachusetts, on the road to Crane Beach, is an apple orchard with an impressive selection of fruit and other good things.
Russell Orchards is a big place, with hundreds of trees. It's the sort of family-oriented orchard that has apple picking, farm animals, and hay rides. For older folks, Russell also bottles their own fruit wines, ciders, and perries. Their sweet cider is unpasturized.
I got some of that, and a bottle of the hard stuff too, and also a dozen of what may be the best cider donuts in Massachusetts.
Although the main barn was doing a brisk business in good things to eat and drink, on Halloween there was plenty of space left in the parking lot.
I came to lay in a supply of Gold Rush apples and was not disappointed. Indeed, at the end of October there were some 25 varieties of apples on hand, including Winecrisp, new to me.
As for the Gold Rush, I will be enjoying these amazing keepers next spring.
No beach crowds, or black flies, in October; no swimming either, unless you are very hardy.
Between that and the Crane Estate, and Ipswich clams, there is plenty to turn your apple stop into a daylong adventure.
Things are winding down at Russell right now. The farm will close for the season on Sunday.
But they still have 14 kinds of apples for sale, including Baldwin and Roxbury Russett.