Pick-Your-Own Spots in Western Massachusetts

Mash Notes to Paradise by Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser

Note 15, Pick-Your-Own Spots

Berry picking with the family. (Photo credit: Sarah Buttenwieser)

I wrote a little post for Momfilter, (fun site—I especially adore the pretty pictures!) about the joys of pick-your-own. For people who live in a city, I realize that the chance to go berry or apple picking—or even pluck a few cherry tomatoes from an outdoor plant, potted or in a garden plot—requires some planning (vacation activity, anyone?). And so writing that post made me think about another Mash Notable reality of life in this corner of New England: there are ample pick-you-own opportunities.

What’s more, from the pumpkin patch or apple orchard field trip that’s a staple in our preschools and early elementary years to the family outings for fill-in-the-blank favorite harvest-able, it turns out that the experience of picking food from where it grows is usual around here. This is a good thing for those of us hoping our kids understand the farm-to-table connection or at least the food doesn’t grow on supermarket shelves. This is a promising thing for the farmers’ markets, which span from Springfield to the Berkshires and pretty much all points in between. Appreciation for the most local food is, I think we can all agree, a sign of progress, even if it hits your ear as retro (my neighbors with the veggie garden in front of their house, I always equate with some read-about and heard-about tale of victory gardens).

❥ And this is a good moment to share this tip: you can find out about picking and farmers’ marketing and CSA sharing through CISA’s site. If you’re Berkshire bound, you can learn more through Berkshire Grown.


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser

Sarah is a writer, who lives in Northampton with her husband and four children. She contributes to Preview Massachusetts Magazine, as well as other publications and writes a parenting blog Standing in the Shadows at the Valley Advocate. She moved to the Valley to attend Hampshire College—and found the Valley such a nice place, she stayed!

Q&A: Where’s Your Favorite Apple Orchard in Western MA?

QUESTION AND ANSWERS

Clarkdale Fruit Farm in Deerfield, MA offer PYO apples. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Does anyone have suggestions for favorite apple orchards in the area?

  • Maureen Cooper MacPhail responds: Echo Hill in Monson, MA
  • Rebekah Markham responds: Quonquont Farm in Whately, MA
  • Lauren Abend responds: Bear Swamp Orchard in Ashfield, MA. Pick-Your-Own Organic; as well as, unpasteurized cider.
  • Lisa Fedora Lansing responds: Outlook Farms in Westhampton MA & Atkins Farm in Amherst, MA.
  • Jenna Smith responds: Lakeview Orchard in Lanesboro, MA, and they have awesome fresh apple cider donuts!
  • Jennifer York responds: Sentinel Farm in Belchertown, MA on Cottage St.
  • Christine Hebert responds: Cold Spring Orchard in Belchertown, MA

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