A young picker gets a jump on the season at Lyman Orchards in Middletown, Connecticut.
Photo Credit : courtesy of Lyman Orchards
For the best picking experience this summer and fall, here are our editor-approved picks for the best PYO fruit farm (and often pumpkins, too!) in every New England state.
Need more outdoor travel ideas? Find these picks, plus more than 120 of the best things to do, places to eat, and places to stay that celebrate the great outdoors in The Best of New England: Outdoor Edition.
At one of America’s oldest family businesses (c. 1741), all of your faves are on the roster: blueberries, raspberries, peaches, pears, apples, pumpkins, and jostaberries. Never heard of that last one? Lyman is the Northeast’s only commercial grower of these sweet-tart hybrids.
Best PYO Fruit Farm in Massachusetts
Parlee Farms, Tyngsboro
You’ll taste the difference but won’t necessarily see the science-guided, labor-intensive practices that the Parlee family employ on their 93 fruit-and-flower-planted acres. Go in June to pick strawberries and savor old-fashioned shortcake; time a July visit right, and you can pick both blueberries and fragile sweet cherries, which are easily collected from dwarf trees. Multitasking’s possible in late August, too, if peaches hold on while the earliest apples redden.
Grown using predominantly natural means of pest control, fruits hand-harvested at Sweet Berry Farm have the exceptional appearance and flavor that befits a place that’s been a passion project and a land-preservation success story for more than 40 years. Strawberries ripen first, then summer raspberries, blueberries, peaches, blackberries, fall raspberries, apples, and pumpkins.
Famed for its apples and ciders, Champlain Orchards is also your place to pick immune-boosting elderberries; red, black, and gold raspberries; apricots; cherries; red and pink currants; blackberries; peaches; nectarines; and Asian and European pears and plums. Check the online PYO Tracker for what’s popping.
High-bush blueberries are a wonder crop at this 40-acre family fruit farm, which also grows summer and fall raspberries, peaches, and apples. Through late October, long after other farms’ blueberry seasons are kaput, you’ll still find deep-blue clusters of these antioxidant-rich berries to pick. Visit on weekends, when you might hear live music wafting through the fields, and you can get some extra vitamin C from fresh-fruit smoothies and homemade fruit doughnuts.
Get your fruit fix and cut your own flowers, too, at one of the prettiest PYO farms we’ve ever seen. Fertile Connecticut River Valley soil produces vibrant crops, kicking off around mid-August with blueberries, which never taste better than when they’re fresh-plucked. Raspberries follow, then pumpkins and apples galore, from August’s early Paula Reds through the CrimsonCrisps and SnowSweets that ripen in October.
Let us know your favorite New England PYO spots in the comments below!