Today was a picture perfect day. So perfect in fact, that I’m going to share probably the most photos in a blog post than I ever have before. It really was that kind of day. A day that you hope your memory card can live up to its claims. A day for lots of pictures.
Today we spent the day at Smolak Farms. Located in North Andover, MA, Smolak Farms has to be one of the very best apple orchards I’ve ever visited. Truly, a remarkable farm. And let me tell you, I’ve been to lots of farms in New England. It takes a lot to impress me because I’ve seen some pretty fine farms. But Smolak Farms? Yeah, I think I’m in love.
Our day started with a discussion with Michael, the owner of Smolak Farms. A remarkably humble and personable man who took the time to share his passion with us. Farming. And as he talked about his orchard, the antique varieties of apples growing in his orchards and the faith he has in his staff, I came to appreciate the man behind the farm and the gorgeous produce he brings forth.
There are tons of apple orchards in New England. And most of them offer up quality produce and killer cider donuts. That’s pretty reliable. But not all of them sparkle the way that this farm does.
What I found impressive about Smolak Farms is that they are with you every step of the way. We parked our car. Walked out to the orchard. And not only was the owner present, but also the staff to help you learn about the different varieties.
Need a baking apple? They’ll help you find it. Just want some good eatin’ apples? They’ll help you find that too. Can’t find the tree you’re looking for? No worries. There are guides there to help you find your way. They take the guess work out of apple picking.
I already knew what I was looking for. Gravensteins for eating and Northern Spy for baking. And yes, I got into the picking too. There is nothing like picking apples to get you into the fall mindset.
Apple picking is an annual thing for us. My kids especially enjoy harvesting fruit. I love teaching them a valuable lesson about where our food comes from and the joys of the harvest…
But I think they are more onboard for the cider donuts and the homemade pumpkin Oreo ice cream. Shut the front door, right? Pumpkin Oreo ice cream? Is that even legal? It shouldn’t be, but I’m glad it is. Holy amazing.
You want to come to Smolak Farms on an empty stomach. Trust me on this one. There’s an incredible array of deliciousness everywhere you turn. Specialty coffees, gorgeous muffins and cider donuts. Cider donuts are little bit of heaven on earth. And if you are in the mood for more solid fare like hamburgers and hotdogs, they’ve got you covered on that front too.
And cotton candy. It’s really hard to say no to cotton candy. Especially when it’s so photographable. Spell check is telling me that photographable is not a word. But trust me, it is.
Besides incredible deliciousness, there’s tons to see and do at Smolak Farms. Once you’ve picked your apples and/or pumpkins, then you can go visit and feed the animals or play on the haystack pyramid. Lots of different things to do that truly make a day out of apple picking. You want to budget a chunk of time for your visit. Like at least three to four hours. There’s that much to see and do at Smolak Farms.
Besides apples, we came home with a few other goodies. Cider donut holes and apple cider for the boys because they couldn’t come along. And a giant jug of local harvested honey for Mom. Some women love diamonds. I love jugs of honey. That sort of makes me low maintenance, right?
If you live in the area or if you are visiting the area this fall, make sure that you visit Smolak Farms. It’s such a lovely experience. Beautiful produce. Lovely people. Kick butt baked goods and homemade ice cream. Really, you shouldn’t miss it. It’s one of our New England treasures.
For more information on Smolak Farms, visit their website. And if you do get the chance to visit, be sure to get a scoop of their Oreo Pumpkin Ice Cream. It’s off the rails good and worth the extra mile I ran today to work it off.
Oh, and make sure to visit A Beautiful Bite in the coming days. Odds are good that you’ll see a Smolak Farms inspired apple recipe. And that can’t be anything other than wonderful, right?