Apple farms

Apples were historically grown all over New England, both for eating and more importantly for making hard cider. Most farms had at least a few apple trees, though they wouldn’t necessarily have their own cider mill–farmers would cart their apples to the local cider mill and get barrels of fresh unfiltered cider back, which they’d store in the cellar and draw on all year round until the next year’s apple season. (The cider in the cellar features prominently in Edwin Arlington Robinson’s touching and comic narrative poem “Isaac and Archibald.”) What they didn’t drink, they turned into vinegar for use in pickling.

Historic varieties of apples include the Baldwin, Cortland, Northern Spy, Macoun, Rhode Island Greening, Spencer, and various Pearmains and Pippins. Most of these are hard to find now, having been elbowed aside by the Macintosh and Delicious.

Nowadays most commercially-sold cider is either pasteurized or treated with chemicals or UV light to kill the wild yeasts and bacteria in it. The very tastiest cider, though, is raw unfiltered juice without preservatives. It starts out good and gets better day by day in the refrigerator, developing a distinctive tang and a slight carbonation that offset its sweetness. Such cider, which is not especially dangerous except for small children and people in poor health, can legally be sold only directly by the farmer, so you’ll find it at farmstands, not at supermarkets. It’s one of the tastiest agricultural products that New England has to offer.

Molly’s Orchard, Columbia Falls, ME

Shalom Organic Orchard & Winery, Franklin, ME  Website here.

North Chester Orchard, Chester, ME

Treworgy Family Orchards, Levant, ME

Johnston’s Orchards, Ellsworth, ME

Harris Orchard, Brewer, ME

Hillcrest Orchards, Winterport, ME

Maine-ly Apples, Dixmont, ME

Hooper’s Orchard, Monroe, ME

Hardy Farms, Hope, ME

Hope Orchards, Hope, ME  Raw cider available. Website here.

Sewall’s Organic Orchard, Lincolnville, ME  Their website  says they’re the oldest certified organic orchard in Maine. Raw cider is available, as are heirloom apple varieties.

Schartner Farms, Thorndike, ME

Lamb Abbey Orchards, Union, ME  Not fully operational as a commercial orchard; they’ve planted over 100 varieties of apples, including many rare cider apple varieties. Will start bearing fruit soon, hopefully. Website here.

Bailey Orchard, Whitefield, ME

Pleasant Pond Orchard, Richmond, ME  Website here.

Rocky Ridge Orchard, Bowdoin, ME  Website here.

North Star Orchards, Madison, ME  Website here.

Clark’s Cove Farm, Walpole, ME  Website here.

Rollins Orchards, Garland, ME

Rowe Orchards, Newport, ME  Website here.

Sandy River Apples, Mercer, ME  A small orchard that nonetheless bills itself as growing 143 varieties of apples, including many heirloom varieties. Website here.

Morrison Hill Orchard, Farmington, ME

Harndon’s Family Farm, East Wilton, ME

Ricker Hill Orchard, Turner, ME  Website here.

Valley View Orchards, Hebron, ME  A wholesale orchard rather than retail. Website here.

Shackley Hill Orchard, Livermore, ME

Lemieux’s Orchard, North Vassalboro, ME

Mt. Nebo Orchard, Mt. Vernon, ME

Lakeside Orchards, Manchester, ME  Website here.

The Apple Farm, Fairfield, ME  Owned by the same people who run Lakeside Orchards in Manchester. The website for both farms is here.

Chick Orchards, Monmouth, ME

Elm Crest Farms, Monmouth, ME

Kents Hill Orchard, Kents Hill, ME

Gagnon Family Orchard, Greene, ME

Lowell Orchard, Buckfield, ME

Pietree Orchard, Sweden, ME  Website here.

Whit’s Apples, East Winthrop, ME

Stukas Farms, Lewiston, ME

Wallingford’s Fruit House, Auburn, ME

Five Fields Farm, South Bridgton, ME

Roberts’ Orchard, Poland, ME

Thompson’s Orchard, New Gloucester, ME  Website here.

Orchard Hill Farm, Cumberland, ME

Sweetser’s Apple Barrel, Cumberland Center, ME  A multigenerational family farm with 39 varieties of apples.  Website here.

Apple Acres Farm, South Hiram, ME  A friendly fourth-generation family-run farm in a lovely setting in the hills of western Maine. Their donuts aren’t half bad either. Website here.

Randall Orchards, Standish, ME

Hammond Farms, Lyman, ME

Brackett’s Orchards, Limington, ME  A family-operated farm since the 1780s, according to their website here.

Libby and Son U-Picks, Limerick, ME  Not only a pick-your-own apple orchard–they have pick-your-own berries too.

Raven Hill Orchard, Waterboro, ME Website here.

Notre Dame Institute, Alfred, ME

Snell Family Farm, Barr Mills, ME

Romac Orchard, Acton, ME  Website here.

Kelly Orchards, Acton, ME

McDougal Orchards, Springvale, ME  Website here.

Meadow Brook Farm, Raymond, ME

Pine View Orchard, Berwick, ME

Spiller Farm, Wells, ME  Website here.

Windy Ridge Orchard, North Haverhill, NH

Hatches Orchard, Center Conway, NH

Hollow Hill Farm, Tamworth, NH

Cardigan Mountain Orchard, Alexandria, NH  Pick your own at their orchard in Alexandria, or just buy their produce at their retail location in Bristol. Website here.

Poverty Lane Orchards, Lebanon, NH  Just east of the municipal airport. Specializing in heirloom apples and cider varieties, they also make their own hard cider. Website here.

Riverview Farm, Plainfield, NH  Website here.

Stonybrook Farm, Gilford, NH Facebook page here.


About Peter Chipman

I'm a lexicographer, an editor, and a lover of language and literature. Also a proud father of two, an occasional bell-ringer, a thirteenth-generation New England Yankee, a former owner of a one-room schoolhouse, and the current owner of a 220-year-old farmhouse.
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3 Responses to Apple farms

  1. greg says:

    I couldn’t agree more, Petah. I’ll raise a glass of 2012 Tickled-in-Cider to that!

    • Thanks! By the way–do you have any favorite places you’d like to recommend for inclusion in any of the atlas categories?

      • john lucy says:

        I would like to have my business (Douglas Hill Orchard, Sebago) taken off your list of Maine Pick Your Own Apple Orchard. I will not be open to apple picking this year (crop issues) and would like to avoid having to turn away disappointed potential customers.
        thank you,
        John Lucy
        Douglas Hill Orchard
        Sebago, Maine

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