Tag Archives: Pick your own

Pick Your Own Adventure in Maine’s Kennebec Valley

Now is the time to get out there and pick some apples in the Kennebec Valley. We have a great resource right here on this Blog post. Read on  my appley friend.

According to a little bit of research we grow over 100 different varieties of apples in the state of Maine. Most everyone loves their own special apple (I like an Empire and a just off the tree McIntosh.) Interestingly all McIntosh apples grown today in the world—it’s the most commonly grown apple on the planet—stem from one wild apple tree in the woods near the home of John McIntosh in Ontario, Canada over 200 years ago.

Apples are available from the Paualared, Gingergold and Jersey Mac in August through the highly popular Cortland in late September to the Northern Spy later on in October.  Click here for a guide to the best times for the most popular apples.

We have a great resource in the Maine State Pomological Society with a all the info you might want about these beauties. They also tell us that there are five orchards in our region (listed below) open to the public to pick your own apples. So take some time this weekend to get out in the fresh air and pick while the picking is good.

North Star Orchards in Madison

Cayford Orchards in Skowhegan

The Apple Farm in Fairfield

Lakeside Orchards in Readfield

Lemieux’s Orchard in Vassalboro

Sandy River Apple Orchard in Mercer

Mt. Nebo Orchard in Mt. Vernon (no website available)

So get out there and pick a couple pecks of apples and make the best of this harvest season in our Kennebec and Moose River Valleys. And don’t forget to take a spin on over to the Kennebec & Moose River Valleys website to take a closer look at all we have to offer all year long; request your copy of our visitor guide or join our twice monthly email newsletter.

You can pick your friends and you can pick with your friends, but…

August 2012 Update:

Just a quick note, my information comes from an outside source and so some of the information might be out of date or wrong. I got word recently that something in the information was wrong, so it has been pulled. Thanks. Keep the cards and letters coming.

The Kennebec Explorer

April 2012 Post

Listings of farms offering you-pick fruits and veggies in the Kenebec and Moose River Valley

Food, it keeps coming back around again and again in discussions. We have such a beautiful variety of fruits and vegetables grown here in the Kennebec and Moose River Valley that from time to I have to stop and think why I go to the grocery store at all… Oh for a bottle of wine to tie it all together. Here is a great list courtesy of http://www.pickyourown.org that will give you the ins and outs of picking your own produce.

you pick, u-pick strawberries in the Kennebec & Moose River Valley

Today the Explorer and his kids picked 30 pounds of strawberries. It was a lot of fun, but the kids didn’t last long in that heat.

Some quick tips for summertime picking:

  • Call ahead to be sure of the hours of operation and that they have what you want to pick
  • Plan on going early in the day because the sun gets hot on farms.
  • Wear sunscreen and a hat to protect you from that big ball of gas that makes the plants grow
  • Keep the attention span of children in mind, if your kids last an hour in the shade, plan on at least half that duration in the sun
  • Bring cash or checks as most farms don’t take cards
  • Do something with the fresh produce that day to capture the flavor peak
  • Don’t worry about a little dirt, it won’t hurt you
  • Don’t expect perfection in what you pick. This food is real, not Martha Stewart real.

In a week or so, for those not willing to go out into the fields I will put up an extensive list of Farmers’ Markets in the Kennebec Valley.

Family food picking can be one of the most fun and rewarding experiences for children because it creates lasting memories while fostering an understanding of where Real Food comes from.

Here is where to pick your own all year long.

SOMERSET COUNTY

  • Cayford Orchards - apples, peaches, pears, raspberries, blueberries, pumpkins and squash
    Hilton Hill Road, Skowhegan, Maine.  Phone: 207-474-5200. Email: cayfordorchardsfarms@yahoo.com. PYO apples and pears or ready picked. Specializing in antique varieties and many new varieties. Also pumpkins and squash. Hay rides on weekends. Coming soon, pyo raspberries, blueberries. 3 miles north of Skowhegan post office on Route 150, half mile up Hilton Hill Road, Skowhegan, Maine.  Open: September 1 thru Thanksgiving from 9 am to 5 pm.  (UPDATED: July 09, 2008)
  • Cray’s Produce - strawberries and raspberries
    Route 151 Palmyra (stand is on Route 2 in Palmyra), Palmyra, Maine.  Phone: 207-938-2006.  Alternate phone: 207-478-8279. Email cray@tdstelme.net  Open: Call for more information. Pick your own strawberries and raspberries.
  • Lombard’s Appleberry Orchard- apples and pears.
    234 Dexter Road (Rte 23), Saint Albans, Maine.  Phone: 207-938-2861. Email kathie@tdstelme.net  Pick your own apples and pears. Open: September through October, 10 am to 4 pm  .
  • North Star Orchards - apples
    97 Orchard Road (off Rte 43),  Madison, Maine.  Phone: 207-696-5109; Toll free: 877-696-5109. Email: northstarorchards@hughes.net. Numerous varieties of apples available from late August through mid-October. Free wagon rides on Saturday and Sunday to pick from dwarf trees. Great family fun.
    Open: September 1 through December 24, every day from 10 am to 5 pm; then from January to August on weekends only from 10 am to 5 pm. Restroom available.  (UPDATED: April 05, 2009)
    A visitor writes on September 19, 2009: “We really enjoy picking apples and taking the wagon ride around the orchard with our children”
  • Sandy River Apples/Fenton’s Orchard - apples
    Sandy River Road, Norridgewock, Maine.  Phone: 207-587-2563. Old varieties of apples. Open September 15 through October 30. Call for hours and availability. Handicapped Accessible. Restroom available. Bus parking.
  • Schartner’s Mt. View Fruit & Berry Farm – strawberries
    Route 220, Thorndike, ME. Phone: 207-568-3668.
  • Sites Farm – strawberries
    Joaquin Road, Athens, ME. Phone: 207-654-2063.
  • The Apple Farmapples
    104 Back Road, Fairfield, Maine.  Phone: 207-453-7656 Toll free: 877-453-7656. Fax  207-453-2717. Email applefarm@adelphia.net  Pick your own apples — Macs, Cortlands, Red and Golden Delicious, Golden Russets, Pearmains, Winter Bananas and others in season. Wagon rides on weekends. Open September through October 25 from 9 am to 5 pm daily. Handicapped Accessible. Restroom available. Bus parking.
  • Trinity Farm Bed & Breakfast - Raspberries
    North New Portland, Maine.  Phone: 207-628-5223. Fax  207-628-5223. Email trinityfarm@hotmail.com  Raspberries — Heritage everbearing (usually bears from midsummer right up till frost).  Route 16, halfway between Kingfield and No. New Portland.   Open: Daylight hours. Call for availability.

KENNEBEC COUNTY

  • Bacon Farm - PYO Fall pumpkins and squash
    Corner of Goodhue Road and Route 23 (Pond Road), Sidney, Maine.  Phone: 207-547-5053. Email: baconfarm@adelphia.net.  Open: Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm, Monday to Thursday by chance.
  • Beaudoin Berry Farm – blueberries, raspberries,
    45 Beaudoin Road, Clinton, ME 04927. Phone: 207-426-8131. And for a map to our farm, click here. Crops are usually available in June, July, August. Open: Call for hours. Top quality berries at a fair price. Follow signs to our fields. Call ahead for condition and availability.  Payment: Cash, only. (UPDATED: June 04, 2008)
  • Chick’s Apple Stand - apples, blueberries, and pumpkins
    577 Main Street, Monmouth, Maine.  Phone: 207-933-4056. Fax. 207-933-4056. Home of “Select-A-Tree” where you can select a tree, leave a deposit and come back next season to harvest your fruit. Makes a great gift. Also offering pick your own blueberries and pre-picked apples and pumpkins; cider and more. Open 7 days 9 am to 5 pm, September 1 – October 30th.
  • Field of Greens - Pick your own vegetables and fall storage crops.
    PO Box 17, Albion, Maine. Phone: 207-437-2993. Bus parking.
  • Kelley Farm and GreenhousePick your own cut flowers
    674 Main Street, Monmouth, Maine.  Phone: 207-933-3755. Email: fahmachris@aol.com . Open: June – September
  • Kents Hill Orchard - Apples and pears
    1625 Main Street, Kents Hill, Maine.  Phone: 207-685-3522. Fax. 207-685-3303. Email: kentshillorchard@aol.com  You pick or we pick – 10 varieties available as they mature. Open: August through October, 8 am to 5 pm, 7 days a week. Handicapped Accessible. Restrooms available. Bus parking.
  • Lakeside Orchards - apples
    Readfield Road (Rte 17), 1 mile from Manchester Center, Manchester, Maine.  Phone: 207-622-2479. Fax. 207-453-2717. Email: applefarm@adelphia.net  Pick your own apples in season. Varieties include Paula Reds, McIntosh, Cortlands, Spartans, Mutsus, Macouns, Red and Golden Delicious. Tractor rides on weekends. Open August through April from 10 am to 5 pm daily.
  • Lemieux’s Orchard - apples
    Priest Hill Road, North Vassalboro, Maine.  Phone: 207-923-3518. Fax. 207-873-4534. Enjoy a fun day at the orchard picking all the apples you want. Apples also available at farmstand until June. Open September and October, 10 am to 5 pm.
  • Moose Hill Farm – raspberries, and prepicked produce, gift shop
    159 Moose Hill Road, Fayette, ME 04349. Phone: 207-897-3093. Fax: 207-8973399. Email: joe@moosehillherbs.com. Directions: From Kents Hill School on Route 17 in Readfield. Go north on Route 17 towards Livermore Falls for 8.5 miles. When you get to 12 corners in Fayette take a right onto Moose Hill Road. The farm is 8/10ths of a mile on the right side of the toad. And for a map to our farm, click here. Crops are usually available in July, November, December. Open: Call for Hours. Raspberries are usually ready by the 20th of July and last through the 1st of August but call for availability. Payment: Cash, Check, Visa/MasterCard.
  • Moulton Farms - pumpkins, Choose your own Christmas tree
    End of Moulton Road, Pittston, Maine.  Phone: 207-582-2515. Fax. 207-582-2515. Email: wgmoulton@earthlink.net  Pick your own quality pumpkins in the fall. Also quality hardwood lumber and carving wood for sale. Choose your own Christmas tree in November or December.
  • Mt. Nebo Orchard - apples
    339 Wings Mills Road, Mt. Vernon, Maine.  Phone: 207-685-3627. Pick your own apples. School groups welcome, please call ahead. Open September and October, 10 am to 5 pm.
  • Pine Bluff Farms – pumpkins, winter squash, Turkeys, Fresh eggs, gift shop, farm animals, school tours
    183 Pond Road, Mount Vernon, ME 04352. Phone: 207-242-8763. Email: jwiles@earthlink.net. Open: PYO hours are Monday to Saturday from 9 am to 5 pm; Any other PYO times must be by appt only; We will have some pumpkins already picked at the farmstand for those that don’t want to PYO; we’re open all week for pumpkins that are already picked; Must come during business hours to PYO unless you have made an appointment. Directions: Click here for a map and directions. Payment: Cash, Check. Click here for our Facebook page. (UPDATED: August 24, 2011)
  • R & L Berry Farm - Pick your own raspberries, highbush blueberries and cut flowers. 
    Readfield, Maine.  Phone: 207-685-4709. Fax. 207-685-4709. Email: rlberry@prexar.com  Open June through October (Harvest time) 7 am to 7 pm,  Monday through Saturday; but in November through May call after 5 pm for product availability. Directions: Take Rte 17 to Plains Road, then go 3/10 mile in on right to Berry Road. Watch for far directional signs. Restrooms available. (UPDATED: August 01, 2011, by a visitor)
  • Richardson’s Strawberry Farm - strawberries and red raspberries
    Hinckley-Canaan Road (Route 23), Clinton, Maine.  Phone: 207-453-2093. We have approximately five acres of luscious strawberries and one acre of red raspberries. Come pick your own. Open mid-June to mid-July, 7 days a week, hours vary depending on weather.
  • Steep Hill Farm – blueberries
    26 Clyde Wells Road, Fayette, ME 04349. Phone: 207 685-4155. Email: george@maineblueberryfarm.com. Directions: One mile off route 17 in the village of Fayette. Look for signs on route 17. Click here for a map and directions. Click here for current open hours, days and dates. Click here for picking updates. Crops are usually available in July, August. Open: Sunday to Sunday 8 am to 7 pm. Blueberry picking starts mid July and goes through late August; The prime picking is late July through Mid August.
  • Stevenson’s Strawberry Farm - strawberries
    Berry Road and Tucker Road, Wayne, Maine. Phone: 207-685-3532. Fax. 207-685-4164. Email: stevenson@midmaine.com  Fifteen acres of beautiful strawberries to pick from! Peas available during strawberry season. Children supervised by an adult are welcome. Open end of June – mid-July, 7 am to 8 pm, daily. Restrooms available.
  • Wagner’s Maple Sugar House - U-pick high bush blueberries. 
    Route 32 North, South China, Maine.  Phone: 207-445-2214. Open daylight hours beginning in August.
  • Whit’s Apples - apples
    Case Road, see signs on Route 202, Winthrop, Maine.  Phone: 207-395-4436. Email: whith@maine.edu  We have had PYO apple sales for 43 years. Come and pick from early September to mid-October, or we’ll pick them for you. Visit our open-air market and make it a family outing and get together. Overlooking a wild life watershed. Open early September through mid-October, 9 am to 5:30 pm. Handicapped Accessible.