Friday, November 25, 2016

Russell Orchards

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.

Map of Russell Orchards

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.

Bins of apples

As for the Gold Rush, I will be enjoying these amazing keepers next spring.

Sign to hayrides
The ocean complements the orchard, and Russell is on the way to the beach.

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.


  1. I went to grad school just a few miles from there, and Russell Orchard was one of our favorite local haunts! I used to fly fish for stripers at Crane Beach as well. What a great area of the country! I only wish I knew then what I know now about apples and orcharding, I had only a casual appreciation at the time.

    Thanks for helping me reminisce!

    1. My pleasure, Chris! Thanks for stopping by.


Join the conversation! We'd love to know what you think.