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Cider Donuts and Pumpkin Patches: Autumnal Rites of Passage in New England

Autumn is a special time in New England. For my family, September means an excursion to a local orchard for apple picking, apple cider, and apple donuts. Then in October, it is off to the farm for pumpkin picking.

For anyone who is new to New England, or somehow has never had a cider donut, let me tell you these are a delicious fall treat! The best donuts are fresh from the fryer, covered in cinnamon sugar. They have a delicate crust and a warm, bready interior that is redolent of apple cider and cinnamon. When you bite into one of these treats, it is heavenly. Yum!

You could buy cider donuts at the supermarket, but for my money, the best place is the local apple orchard or farm stand. Great options abound in nearby towns like Stow or Bolton where apple orchards are a legacy of Johnny Appleseed. Of the self-pick orchards in the Concord area, Shelburne Farm and Honeypot Hill Orchard are two of my favorites for cider donuts, especially with some freshly pressed, hot cider. Of course, if you want to make your own donuts, you can find good recipes on the internet.

As October rolls into Concord and the days and nights become even cooler, Halloween is just around the corner. Pumpkins, whether carved into beautiful jack-o-lanterns or displayed in your yard, are a true symbol of fall. These wonderful gourds fulfil the purpose of food, decoration, and even punch bowls for many of us. Pick-your-own pumpkin farms are close by and welcome the whole family, so bring the kids, aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents.

You can stay local and visit Concord’s own Verrill Farm, which has a variety of pumpkins: large and small, white or yellow, oblong or round, and anything in between! Or you can visit a slew of other farms in neighboring towns. We have a list of options for you here.

Wherever you go, make sure you stop by the farm stand after you finish your pumpkin picking to get some fresh baked goods, cider, or other farm produce.

One word to the wise, some farms are now requiring reservations to do pumpkin picking, so check the website before you go and make sure you will be able to get in when you want to pick.

Have a wonderful fall!

Resources:

Mass Department of Agriculture Pick your Own finder: https://massnrc.org/farmlocator/ map.aspx?Type=PYO%20 (Pick%20Your%20Own)

Cider Donut recipe: https://www.allrecipes.com/ recipe/235088/apple-ciderdoughnuts/

DIY Pumpkin punchbowl: https://www.liquor.com/articles/ pumpkin-punch-bowl/

Where to look for delicious cider donuts near Concord:

Belkin Family Lookout Farm 89 Pleasant Street, Natick lookoutfarm.com (508) 651-1539

Carlson Orchards 115 Oak Hill Road, Harvard carlsonorchards.com (978) 456-3916

Carver Hill Orchards 101 Brookside Avenue, Stow carverhillorchard.com (978) 897-6117

Derby Ridge Farm 438 Great Road, Stow derbyridgefarm.com (978) 897-7507

Doe Orchards 327 Ayer Road, Harvard doeorchards.com (978) 772-4139

Drew Farm 31 Tadmuck Road, Westford drewfarm.com (978) 807-0719

Farmer Dave’s at Hill Orchard 4 Hunt Rd, Westford facebook.com/ westfordhillorchard (978) 392-4600

Honey Pot Hill Orchard 144 Sudbury Road, Stow honeypothill.com (978) 562-5666

Nashoba Valley Winery Orchard & J’s Restaurant 100 Wattaquadoc Hill Road, Bolton nashobawinery.com (978) 779-5521

Nicewicz Family Farm 116 Sawyer Road, Bolton nicewiczfamilyfarm.com (978) 779-6423

Old Frog Pond Farm 38 Eldridge Road, Harvard oldfrogpondfarm.com (978) 456-9616

Schartner Farm 211 West Berlin Road, Bolton schartnerfarm.com (978) 779-5588

Shelburne Farm 106 West Acton Road, Stow shelburnefarm.com (978) 897-9287

Verrill Farm 11 Wheeler Road, Concord verrillfarm.com (978) 369-4494

Westward Orchards Farm Store Massachusetts Ave. (Rt. 111), Harvard westwardorchards.com (978) 456-8363

Wilson Farm 10 Pleasant Street, Lexington wilsonfarm.com (781) 862-3900

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Where to find the perfect pumpkin near Concord:

Barrett’s Mill Farm 449 Barrett’s Mill Road, Concord barrettsmillsfarm.com (978) 254-5609

Brigham Farm Stand & Greenhouses 82 Fitchburg Turnpike, Concord brighamfarmconcordma.com (978) 287-4334

Carlson Orchards 115 Oak Hill Road, Harvard carlsonorchards.com (978) 456-3916

Carver Hill Orchards 101 Brookside Avenue, Stow carverhillorchard.com (978) 897-6117

Clark Farm 185 Concord Street, Carlisle clarkfarmcarlisle.com (978) 254-5427

Colonial Gardens Florist & Greenhouses 442 Fitchburg Turnpike, Concord colonialgardensflorist.com (978) 369-2554

Derby Ridge Farm 438 Great Road, Stow derbyridgefarm.com (978) 897-7507

Doe Orchards 327 Ayer Road, Harvard doeorchards.com (978) 772-4139

Dowse Orchards 98 North Main Street, Sherborn dowseorchards.com (508) 653-2639

Honey Pot Hill Orchard 144 Sudbury Road, Stow honeypothill.com (978) 562-5666

Hutchins Farm 754 Monument Street, Concord hutchinsfarm.com (978) 369-5041

Marshall Farm 171 Harrington Ave, Concord marshallfarm.com (978) 369-4069

Millbrook Farm 215 Cambridge Turnpike, Concord millbrookfields.com (978) 287-0299

Nashoba Valley Winery Orchard & J’s Restaurant 100 Wattaquadoc Hill Road, Bolton nashobawinery.com (978) 779-5521

Nicewicz Family Farm 116 Sawyer Road, Bolton nicewiczfamilyfarm.com (978) 779-6423

Old Frog Pond Farm 38 Eldridge Road, Harvard oldfrogpondfarm.com (978) 456-9616

Rotondo Farm 737 Bedford Street, Concord

Schartner Farm 211 West Berlin Road, Bolton schartnerfarm.com (978) 779-5588

Scimone’s Farm 505 Old Bedford Road, Concord (978) 337-8504

Shelburne Farm 106 West Acton Road, Stow shelburnefarm.com (978) 897-9287

Sunshine Farm 41 Kendall Avenue, Sherborn sunshinefarmma.com (508) 655-5022

Verrill Farm 11 Wheeler Road, Concord verrillfarm.com (978) 369-4494

The Walden Woods Project Farm 1047 Concord Turnpike, Concord walden.org/property/the-farmat-walden-woods (978) 369-2724

Westward Orchards Farm Store Massachusetts Ave. (Rt. 111), Harvard westwardorchards.com (978) 456-8363

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