Six Special Places to Go Apple Picking in Rhode Island
Pair your pick with hayrides, maple cotton candy and the inevitable cider doughnut (or three).
Photos courtesy of the orchards/Thinkstock.
The weather doesn’t just confuse us New Englanders; it confuses the apples, too. The United States Drought Monitor shows that over the last three months, Rhode Island was abnormally dry.
Despite the lack of rain, farm and orchard owners across the state say the quality of the apple has not been affected but instead, the supply.
Good for us in the know; we can still do some major apple picking this weekend at these gorgeous orchards across Rhode Island. Sit back as we rattle off some pick-your-own spots along with their individual specialties.
Dame Farm and Orchard
Where: 91B Brown Ave., Johnston, 401-949-3657, damefarmandorchards.com
When: Mon.–Fri. 8:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m., Sat.–Sun. 9:30 a.m.–5 p.m.
Apples available: Take a stroll through the orchard and pick varieties for $1.75 per pound at a $10 minimum such as: Gala, Macintosh, Honeycrisp and Red Courtland. More variants like Macoun are still to come as the season progresses.
Special features: The fun at Dame Farm and Orchard doesn’t stop at picking apples. The farm also offers thirty-five-minute wagon rides through the crops daily from 9:30 a.m. until close. A maze is available to get lost in during orchard hours and usually takes about one hour from start to finish.
Where: 50 Swan Rd., Smithfield, 401-231-9043, jaswellsfarm.com
When: Daily 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Available apples: The farm urges customers to call before they pick so they can give the most current information on in-season apples.
Special features: Did someone say candy apples? If you have a sweet tooth, you may find yourself indulging in one of eight flavors of candy apples. For more than twenty-five years, Jaswell’s has produced candy apples daily and ready to order. Some of the flavors include: Heath Bar Crunch, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Toasted Almonds and Crushed Oreos. Depending on the time of the year, Jaswell’s also offers seasonal flavors. Want these candy apples for an event or party? No problem; they also ship throughout the United States.
And there's more. Jaswell’s weekend concession includes hot apple crisp and the farmstand and bakery features cider doughnuts.On Sundays, the farm offers hayrides and collects donations for the Rhode Island Community Food Bank.
Jaswell’s is no stranger to the recent Rhode Island weather, either. Allison Jaswell Molis says, “The quality of the apple that we have is tremendous…. There are still some gorgeous, gorgeous apples,” despite the summer drought.
Barden Family Orchard
Where: 56 Elmdale Rd., North Scituate, 401-934-1413, bardenfamilyorchard.com
When: Mon.–Fri. 9 a.m.–6 p.m., Sat.–Sun. 9a.m.–5 p.m.
Available apples: Barden Family Orchard has a selection of apples such as: Mcintosh, Spartan, Courtland, Liberty, Macoun and Honeycrisp available for picking this season.
Special feature: Barden Family Orchard makes its own apple cider in house, which is treated by ultraviolet light; it is the better alternative to treatment by heat pasteurization, and ultraviolet light purists say it gives the cider a better taste. The prices for the cider are: $2.50 per pint, $4.50 per half gallon, $8.50 per gallon.
Where: 150 Austin Ave., Greenville, 401-949-1456, steereorchard.com
When: Daily from 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Available apples: The apples available for pick your own at the moment are Mcintosh. However, this may change depending on the season — more apples are becoming ready for pick your own by the week, so stop in and see which are available.
Special features: Steere Orchard specializes in free hayrides on Saturdays and Sundays starting at 10 a.m. In addition to the hayrides, the farm stand is open daily from 9 a.m.–5 p.m. and houses some fall specialties such as peaches (when in season), apple cider doughnuts, jam, locally produced honey, Indian corn and pumpkins.
Rocky Brook Orchard
Where: 997 Wapping Rd., Middletown, 401-851-7989, rockybrookorchard.com.
When: Sat.–Sun. 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m., Columbus Day 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Available apples: Honeycrisp, McIntosh, Spartans and other seasonal favorites.
Special feature: Rocky Brook Orchard has a system to let pickers know which apples are best at what time. Forget the police-line tape; each tree wears a small wooden tag with the apple name carved into it. Attached is a colored spool that tells the following:
- Red: best in early September
- Orange: best picked in the middle of September
- Yellow: best picked at the end of September or early October
- Green: best picked in the beginning to middle of October
- Blue: best picked mid-October to November
Where: 751 Pippin Orchard Rd., Cranston, 401- 943-7096, facebook.com/pippinorchard
When: Pick your own hours run 10 a.m.–4 p.m. daily and store hours are 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Available apples: The apples that are ready to pick change daily. For $24, you can walk away with a twelve-pound bag to take home. There are apples ripe enough to pick and for inquiries on the types, call Pippin Orchard for more details.
Special features: Pippin is getting its sweet tooth on this fall and we are all for it. Apple cider doughnuts are always on the menu but, new this year, the farm added a maple frosting for that extra fall taste. Pippin also serves up candy apples; check out a video on Facebook to see how they are made. Another fall special going on at Pippin is maple cotton candy — yes, you read that correctly. Pippin lives up to all of our fall goals this season. Check the farm’s Facebook page for information on upcoming events, including a barbecue griller.