Two Saturdays ago, for my first fall weekend back in the city, I went apple picking at Smolak Farms in North Andover, Mass. It was a spectacular day. My son and I drove up to the North Shore to meet the always lovely publicist Nicole Kanner, who invited a handful of bloggers and writers to visit. Michael Smolak, whose grandparents bought the farm years ago, gave us a brief overview of the property, and sent us on our way. We picked two bags of lots of different apples, and two cartons of raspberries. I also carried off a few plums, my son fed the ducks, and we admired the burgeoning pumpkins.
In 1982 the Smolak Family preserved 107 of the 160 acres in cooperation with the State of Massachusetts Agricultural Preservation Restriction Program; the land will never be developed. For the past 35 plus years, Michael Smolak has overseen the development of the farm from a dairy farm to a multi-faceted property. There are many different crops that the public can come to pick: strawberries, raspberries, cherries, blueberries, currants, gooseberries, heirloom tomoatoes, peaches, apples, pumpkins, winter and ornamental squash, and Christmas trees. In addition to the regular apple orchards, there’s an separate orchard with 20 different varieties of antique apples.
There were numerous birthday parties happening, and a wedding scheduled for that evening. Hayrides, of course, a whole bunch of animals, a playground, a pond, and a farmstand, bakery, and ice cream stand. The apple cider and donuts were yummy. And, of course the fruit was too! Here are the photos I took that afternoon. If you’re around in the fall, I highly recommend a visit.
Michael Smolak of Smolak Farms