October New Hampshire Notes

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What’s not to love about New England in autumn?  The panorama of changing fall colors, the smell of apples in the orchard, the humor of carved pumpkins and decorated lawns, and the crispness of the air combine to delight the senses.  Yes, of course, there are also rainy days and leaves to rake, but overall, it’s been a beautiful season.

However, the recent drought has played havoc with some of the maple trees.  Without changing color, their green leaves showed dark burn patches before dropping to the ground.  Whether those trees have kept their ability to generate sap in the spring for the maple syrup sugaring season remains to be seen.

Now it’s the end of October.  Many trees have lost their colorful leaves and become sentinels covered with leafless branches. Yet the mixture of still changing trees with the bare, ready-for-winter trees creates a lovely scene as I drive down the streets and by ways admiring Mother Nature.

A few weeks ago, I made a wonderful discovery.  Applecrest Farm Orchards is about 5 miles away and sells delicious homegrown vegetables along with an abundance of over 40 varieties of apples, jars of homemade pickles, pies, cider doughnuts, and breads.  They even have a bistro with a menu that includes “soup of the minute”.  When I asked what that soup was, I was told that whatever was freshest picked became the soup.

Applecrest is the oldest continuously operated orchard in the United States, begun in 1913.  Now 4 generations of the Wagner family have continued maintaining the orchard which grows about 40,000 bushels of apples each year.  You can buy apples in a bag already gathered or pick your own.  Apple pie, anyone?

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