Though we are now further away from the great majority of our friends, the move to Vermont has moved us closer to a few others. Amy and Jeff, who moved to the Upper Valley in New Hampshire a couple years ago, fall into that category. This weekend we took advantage of the fact that only about 60 miles separate us to have a visit. So we headed off to Williston to pick apples at Adams Apple Orchard.
Adams Apple Orchard is situated on a hillside with a panoramic view of the Green Mountains in the distance. (But, then again, aren’t they all in this state.) Unlike farms I’ve seen in most other parts of the state, Adams suffers (and surely benefits) from its proximity to Burlington and all the chain stores in Williston. Driving to the orchard, one drives through subdivisions sprawling across the converted farm land. Though the orchard itself is beautiful, the feel here is distinctly suburban.
On the edge of the parking lot next to the orchard, a tent was set up selling cider donuts and other goodies. A sign on the tent boasted organic produce, which gave us some hope. We don’t tend to do a lot of apple picking because apples are part of the Dirty Dozen and organic U-Pick places are hard to come by. Alas, Adams Apples are not organic: the owner (Mr. Adams I presume) greeted us and explained that there are no organic apples in Vermont (which would maybe come as a surprise to some of the other orchards in the state, though perhaps he meant U-Pick). Adams uses low-spray Integrated Pest Management practices, which minimize chemical use but still results in nice-looking fruit.
Macintosh apples were the variety in season, so we walked by a bunch of trees filled with apples that aren’t quite ripe to find the pick of the day. Though there was a ton of fruit on every tree, most of the bigger apples were just a bit out of reach, and tree climbing is discouraged here. This, along with a fair amount of chit-chat time, made the picking adventure last a bit longer than expected. Soon though our bags were full and we were off to pay.
We also stopped at the farm stand down the street. The small store was the quintessential picture of autumn, with pumpkins and mums stacked out front. Inside was a variety of produce from Adams and other farms, along with a rack of homemade pies and the requisite Vermont Maple Syrup. It’s not the farmer’s market, but it’s a great place to pick up some fresh produce before heading home.