Litchfield, CT --
Contact: Janet L. Serra
For Immediate Release
For many families, it's an autumn ritual as American as-you guessed it?apple pie. In fact, the makings for a delicious pie are one of the bonuses of an outing to a pick-your-own apple orchard. All around the Litchfield Hills, farms welcome visitors who want the fun of going into the orchards and gathering the fruit. The farms furnish bags to be filled and anyone who has done it will swear that somehow the apples seem to have a crisper crunch and a taste all the sweeter when they come right off the tree. Dozens of varieties of apples are grown in this rich region, so you can be sure to find some that are ripe from September through October.
Lots of farms also have pumpkin patches and some offer hayrides into the orchards, everything needed to make the most of a fine fall weekend. Pickers have their choice of 17 orchards in the Litchfield Hills, many on family farms in picturesque settings. Many orchards make their own cider, or you can make a stop at Hogans Cider Mill in Burlington, which has been producing cider in the same classic method since 1912. Hand crafted gifts created by local artisans are displayed here in the original barn that still houses the old press.
Several farms are of special interest. March Farm in Bethlehem has been in the same family for three generations. Besides 50 acres of apple trees, the farm grows delicious tomatoes in a dozen greenhouses on the property. An animal yard, playscape, corn maze, and hayrides make it a great choice for family outings.
Ellsworth Hill Farm, another family farm in Sharon, takes pride in preserving the rural rolling hills; woods open pastures and original structures of their property. They offer a wide variety of applies, including Macoun, Cortland, Empire, Red Delicious, Mutsu, Northern Spy, Ida Red, Honey Crisp, Gala, and Macintosh. Hayrides are available on weekends by reservation.
Another popular destination is Blue Jay Orchards, where as many as 10,000 people of all ages come to enjoy a day in the country each autumn. A picturesque 140 acre farm nestled in the quaint town of Bethel; Blue Jay became the first farm to be preserved as farmland in Connecticut when a past owner sold the development rights to the state in the 1980s. They have the widest selection of any of the orchards, some 24 varieties of apples in addition to a large farm market. Hayrides to the "Pumpkin Patch" are special favorites every weekend during October.
Pick Your Own Apples
Hogans Cider Mill 522 Spielman Highway, Rte. 4, Burlington, CT 06013. (860) 675-7320. www.hoganscidermill.com.
BLUE JAY ORCHARDS 125 Plumtrees Road, Bethel, CT 06801 (203) 748-0119.www.bluejayorchardsct.com.
MARCH FARM 60 Munger Lane, Bethlehem, CT 06751 (203) 266-7721. www.marchfarms.com.
ELLSWORTH HILL ORCHARD and BERRY FARM, LLC 461 Cornwall Bridge Road, Route 4, Sharon, CT 06069 (860) 364-0025.
HALLOCK ORCHARD 213 Calhoun Street, Washington, CT 06794-1119 (860) 868-1594
AVERILL FARM 250 Calhoun Street, Washington Depot, CT 06794 (860) 868-2777
STARBERRY FARM 47 Kielwasser Road, Washington Depot, CT 06794-1119 (860) 868-2863
TONN'S ORCHARD Preston Road, Terryville, CT 06786 (860) 585-1372