New England’s prime time of year is here: autumn! Foliage in the Granite State is unlike any other, and local farms and businesses are thrilled to meet leaf peepers traveling from far and wide just to see what this incredible state has to offer this time of year.
The Monadnock Region’s farms and orchards have it all, from apple picking to pumpkin carving to hayrides. We have so many awesome spots to visit, it’s hard to keep up! Here are just a few fall gems to visit during these brilliantly beautiful New England months.
A Fare-ly Fall Time
Stonewall Farm is located in the quaint town of Keene. The farm aspires to actively engage the community by educating and promoting the concept of healthy eating, as well as humanely raising animals who provide these resources. Holistic management and regenerative agriculture are some of their key components, and these guys are very serious about their products!
The farm is open year round, offering camps and educational experiences for every season. They host a “Winter Wildlife” camp in December, a “Wonderland” educational experience in February, maple sugaring in March, a variety of summer camps, and Fall Harvest in November. Fall Harvest is a family event that takes place on November 5th and includes cider pressing, pumpkins, wildlife, autumn leaves, playing games and meeting the animals.
The farm’s annual Thanksgiving Fare will be held on November 16th and 17th, providing an opportunity to shop local for your Thanksgiving meal! The Fare features locally-raised meats and produce, breads and stuffing mixes, berries, appetizers, wine, beer, and crafts and gifts to bring along if you are attending the family feast instead of hosting it this year.
There is no admission fee, and you’ll find dozens of local vendors participating in the festivities! CCD’s Kitchen will be selling lunch and snacks, and on Saturday, there will be hayrides for $5. So support local business and put good quality food in your family’s tummies this holiday season!
Alyson’s Apple Paradise
Located along the gorgeous Connecticut River Valley in Walpole, Alyson’s Orchard is 450 acres of pure autumnal heaven. The farm grows a variety of different fruits and veggies, including peaches, plums, pears, nectarines, berries, fruit wines, and of course – apples.
They also have a plethora of locally-made products for sale, and this regional treasure comes complete with playgrounds for kids, goats to visit and pet, and bocce ball courts for families who come far and wide! Alyson’s Orchard’s picturesque scenery is taken advantage of year round, additionally making it a perfect wedding venue for couples who love New England.
Apples are Alyson’s biggest crop, with around 50 varieties ripening throughout the late summer and early fall. Alyson’s prides themselves in their certified “eco-apples,” meaning their fruit is cared for with Integrated Pest Management. IPM is a friendly and effective way to get rid of pests while simultaneously protecting the environment around the crops.
The orchard only treats the plants as needed by personally, regularly monitoring the crops. Not only is this method better for the consumer because fewer chemicals are applied to the crops, but it is also better for the farmers. The health of the soil improves tenfold when the IPM process is in place, leading to the overall lower costs of growing and fuel consumption. Not to mention how environmentally friendly the whole process is!
In addition to apples, the farm also has pumpkins to pick, gourds and squash to buy, and fresh-baked apple pies for sale during this wonderful time of year. You won’t want to miss out on an opportunity to visit Alyson’s!
Windy Hill Bliss
Tucked away in Greenville, Washburn’s Windy Hill Orchard is a treasure trove of seasonal bliss. Locals LOVE Windy Hill and for a good reason! The sweet, little farm has an abundance of autumn activities to keep the family occupied and bellies filled all day.
Washburn’s farm is home to all the essential animals (chickens, goats, pigs, etc.), a pumpkin picking patch, hay bales for endless playing, apple orchards for miles, a shop filled with local goodies (and their infamous caramel apples, of course).
You and your family can also put your puzzle skills to the test with an epic corn maze! Even with all these amazing amenities, what seems to stand out the most about Windy Hill is the gorgeous view of Monadnock Mountain. The farm is perched on a hill, and the view absolutely takes your breath away!
Autumn is arguably too short in New England, so make sure you get out to some of these spots before the foliage disappears! You and your family will be far from disappointed with ANY spot in the Monadnock region at this time of year. Happy apple picking!