Like Them Apples?
Local Berkshire farms with apple picking and fresh cider
A warm, early spring and a late hard frost have taken a toll on local apples this year, but apple picking, cider, and doughnuts are available.
Dennis Mareb at Windy Hill Farm in Great Barrington says this is the oddest season in 35 years. He and wife Judy make unpasteurized cider on Friday mornings in their 1907 wooden press and sell it at their farm store.
At Riiska Brook Orchard in Sandisfield, co-owner Barbara Riiska has seen the hot, dry summer stress the farm’s 2,700 trees, but expects ten kinds of apples, including Spencer and Cortlands. Bartlett’s Orchard in Richmond will have its traditional 13 varieties, and cider will be made in the farm store, says Trevor Bartlett, son of co-owner Rick Bartlett. At Hilltop Orchards in Richmond, co-owner John Vittori sees late varieties like Golden Spy, Crispin, and Ida Red looking especially sound. Watch the cider pressing and tour the winery. Tractor-drawn hayrides and live music are on weekends.
Pick-your-own remain open at most orchards through Columbus Day. Lakeview Orchard in Lanesborough stays open through Halloween, and Riiska Brook until November, but call ahead. Bartlett’s, Hilltop, and Windy Hill have year-round shops. Jaeschke’s Orchard in Adams is open into December, and all four orchards have apples and pies into the November holiday season. Windy Hill presses cider until Christmas.