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Celebrating the unique character & culture of Maine ~ New Hampshire ~ Vermont
New Hampshire
Polishes Up Crop of Antique Apples

According to the University of New Hampshire, the 2,700 farms in New
Hampshire managing over 460,000 acres contribute nearly $300 million to the
state's economy. Apples are a key component. The 2100 acres of apple orchards
in the state produced 738,000 bushels of apples in 2004, valued at $8.7 million.
[Source: USDA].

There's even an official New Hampshire Scenic Byways for orchards: the 10-mile
Apple Way that winds through Londonderry and is sprinkled with old
schoolhouses, antique homesteads, and magnificent orchards.

But visitors will find pick-your-own apples, fresh-pressed cider and apple
festivals all over the state. VisitNH.gov offers information for visitors and www.
agriculture.NH.gov lists apple orchards and farmstands showcasing the bounty
of the harvest.

Several orchards focus on heirloom or "antique" apple varieties that are not
found in the average supermarket. Among these are:

Poverty Lane Orchards, Lebanon, NH
Steve Wood and his wife, Louisa Spencer grow and sell antique apples with
names like Ashmead’s Kernel, Pomme Grise, Hudson’s Golden Gem and
Thomas Jefferson's favorite apple, Esopus Spitzenberg was grown at Monticello
when the variety was quite new. It originated in the mid-1700s. Pick-Your-Own
starts in early September with tart, rock-hard McIntosh and Cortland on the
trees. Sweet cider pressing begins a week or two into September, when the
apples sugar up enough. A week into October, an amazing number of different
varieties, from familiar to very rare, will be ready for the orchard's antique apple
tastings. On weekends with good weather the orchard can tote people into the
further fields by wagon. (Some people like just to sit on the wagon and travel
back and forth -- no charge.) There are picnic tables, fresh air, views of the
Connecticut River valley and plenty of space to run around with a tall fence
around the whole place to keep kids and friendly dogs in. Poverty Lane also
grows what they call “certain nasty-tasting apples, on purpose, that are vintage
cider varieties to be pressed and fermented into traditional, wine-like Farnum
Hill Ciders.” Call 603-448-1511

Applecrest Farm, Hampton Falls, NH
Oldest and largest apple orchard in New Hampshire. Year-round family owned
orchards with 300 acres. First apple tree was planted in 1913.
Operated by the Wagner family since 1954, it now has over 20,000 apple trees
producing  100,000 bushels of forty different varieties: Gravenstein, Paula Red,
McIntosh, Cortland, Macoun, Empire, Mutsu, Ida Red, Red Delicious, Golden
Delicious, Melrose, Northern Spy, Rome Beauty, Baldwin and in limited
quantities: Russet, Rhode Island Greening, Wageners,  Pick your own and
already picked available at farmstands. Free festival on fall weekends with live
music and food. Applecrest Farm, Route 88. Hampton Falls. Call 603-926-3721

Gould Hill Orchards, Contoocook, NH
A 200 year-old family-owned and operated farm, we grow over 85 varieties of
apples (Ashmead Kernel, August Sweet, Blue Pearmain, Cox Orange Pippin,
Granite Beauty, Gravenstein, Hubbardston Nonesuch, Ozark Gold, Pomme
Grise, Porter, Rhode Island Greening, Sheepnose, Snow, Winesap) on nearly 100
acres of prime hilltop farm land affords both prime apple growing land and
spectacular views, stretching 75 miles from south-central
New Hampshire to the White Mountains. Also produce their own fresh sweet
cider. Their Little Nature Museum in the 220-year-old historic barn offers
collections of fossils, rocks, minerals, shells; mounted birds, insects, wildlife;
interpretive and changing exhibits. Guided nature trail walks in the orchards,
forests, fields, and streams. Call 603-46-3811

DeMerritt Hill Farm, Lee, NH
25 varieties of apples. Mule-drawn apple-picking hayrides into the orchard.
Supplies apples to cider mill that sells cider at Barker Farm Stand, Route 33,
Stratham. Call 603-868-7587

Apple Hill Farm, Concord, NH
24 varieties of uncommon, common and new varieties of NH apples. Hard and
sweet cider. Picking schedule: August = Jersey Mac, Paula Red, Ginger Gold,
Gravenstein. September = McIntosh, Cortland, Honey Crisp, Macoun, Pomme
Grise, Jonathon, Gala. October = Empire, Hampshire, Golden Delicious,
Northern Spy, Crispin, Fuji, Baldwin, Russett, Hudsons Golden Gem, Calville
deBlanc, Tomkins County King, Esopus Spitzenburg, Lady Apples. Call 603-224-
8862

In addition:

The colonial-era Jackson House (c. 1664) in Portsmouth at 76 Northwest Street,
maintains a small, 2-acre orchard of 8 different varieties of apples popular in the
17th and 18th centuries. A member of Historic New England (formerly Society
for the Preservation of New England Antiquities) the house focuses on its
apples on the September 10th this year with “Jackson Hill Cider Day” from noon
to 4pm. Visitors will enjoy cider, aged cheddar cheese, warm slices of apple pie
baked on the premises and a demonstration of hand-operated cider press. The
post-medieval style Jackson House is also open for guided tours. Admission: $6
for adults and $3 for children. Historic New England/SPNEA members, free.
www.historicnewengland.org. 76 Northwest Street, Portsmouth. Call 603-436-
3205

See also Scott Farm's Heirloom Apples in Vermont
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