Your Family Farm

Lessons from Nature in New England



New England: It’s a central part of our identity as an apple orchard nestled in the hills of North Central Massachusetts. If you grew up in the region, it’s likely a huge part of your identity too, your childhood memories and lingering nostalgia inextricable from its four distinct seasons.  At least once in your life, you’ve probably lamented the long winter and threatened to pack up and move to the west coast.  These threats are always empty, though. Year after year, we lace up our boots and trudge through the snow, curses silenced by harsh gusts of wind. It’s the kind of torture we’ve grown not just to “put up with,” but deep down, to actually love. 


The reason relates to what we’re all going through right now.  Because going out in the freezing cold meant a warm mug of hot chocolate later; because the first day of spring would not elicit the same joy without the cold that came before it; and because even the longest winters are sprinkled with moments of beauty and wonder.  New England’s seasons are uniquely comforting in their paradoxical constant promise of change.  Just as our joy at the taste of freshly picked blueberries is increased knowing that they won’t be available all year, so too is our comfort during bad times increased knowing that nothing lasts forever.


The “19” in “COVID-19” stands as a reminder that our winter is even longer than usual this year.  And not just because it snowed twice in May!  In a symbolic sense, we’re frozen in December 2019 when the pandemic first began, staying mostly indoors and eating mostly soup (no just me)?  Well, you get the point.  


Here on the farm, we’re constantly learning lessons from nature and adapting to its unexpected surprises.  This year especially, we’re forced to reckon with our inability to predict or control the pandemic.  But we’re no more capable of stopping the pandemic than we’re capable of stopping the miraculous side of nature.  This week, the orchard reminded us that in fact, spring has arrived, and soon summer will too.  The trees are now in full bloom, and the bees have arrived to play their role in turning those blossoms into delicious fruit.  Al even stumbled upon a wild honeybee nest yesterday, a sure sign that our land is as healthy and fruitful as ever.  


We eagerly await the day when it’s safe to step into 2020 fully, and to share the upcoming harvest with you in whatever capacity we’re able to!  Our mission is to provide an authentic, New England, family farm experience to our guests – and that’s what we plan to do, even if it looks a little bit different this year.



Filed under: Farm History, Farm Stand

Apple Picking Times of the Past

With apple season coming into full swing this year its great to take a moment and look back at past apple seasons.  Thanks to Mrs. Nancy MacEwan, our friend and neighbor, we recently acquired a 1968 article featuring a picture of her picking and sorting apples.  Here’s an excerpt from Worcester’s The Evening Gazette that I hope you enjoy reading as much as we do:


Apple Farm to Hold Annual Open House

By Steven Preston, The Evening Gazette, Thursday, October 10, 1968

Phillipston – There is a lull in the whirlwind which each fall hits the Red Apple Farm on Highland Avenue at harvest time.   The “Macs” have been stripped from the trees and put in cold storage or distributed to retail outlets.  Apple Picking activity will soon be in full swing again as winter apples, such as Northern Spies, ripen with the first frosts of the year.

Open House Sunday

To observe this annual rite of gathering the richness of fruit from the trees, Mr. and Mrs. A. Spaulding Rose, owners of the Red Apple Farm, will hold their seventh annual open house from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday.  This year for the first time, the Apple Queen of the Massachusetts Fruit Growers Association will attend the open house, arriving at 3:30.  She is Miss Mary Dowse of Sherborn.  Rose, 62, who has been growing apple since 1929, estimates the crop this year at 8,000 to 10,000 bushels – about 85 per cent of last year’s bumper crop.  However, he says, they are better quality because of early summer rains. (more…)

Filed under: Farm History

“Could this be the greatest place on Earth?”

A big thanks to James A. from Toronto, Canada for our recent 5 star review on Tripadvisor:

“Could this be the greatest place on earth?  It’s quite possible that this is the place where our savior will return to us, solely for the purpose of getting some delicious little powder cinnamon/sugar donuts before casting us into the depths of the abyss. To me this is a perfectly acceptable outcome as long as I can have a few of those donuts to enjoy myself prior to my final decent into the depths of the Inferno. It’s a fair deal as far as I’m concerned. Enjoy!”
We appreciate and value all our customers reviews!  If you feel the love please let us know and, of course, if anything is not to your expectations please reach out.  We hope to only improve and provide loving memories that last a life time!
Heavenly Donuts!
Heavenly Donuts!

Filed under: Boston Public Market

A Post from the Boston Public Market

“Meet the Vendor” Al & Nancy Rose, Owners of Red Apple Farm



“New York City has the Big Apple, but Boston has the Red Apple”

-Al Rose

Learn more about the special people who tend the orchard! Find out why they love what they do, where it all started, and what they do in their free time (hint: its usually involves food!).

Tell us a little bit about your
business. (more…)

Filed under: Boston Public Market

The Saga of Red Apple Farm

The following is the beginning of a memoir written by Carolyn Rose. My father-in-law found it recently and passed it along to me. I have typed it directly from her manuscript that was written on blank ‘Welcome Wagon’ hostess forms. Additionally, we estimate this picture of her, taken in her very modern kitchen for a USDA article, dates from the late 1930’s. We hope you enjoy the glimpse into the past as much as we have.
-Nancy Rose
Carolyn Rose

Carolyn Rose

The Saga of Red Apple Farm
By Carolyn Chaffin Rose

In the beginning was the house – and the orchard. He said, “I’ve found a farm and orchard that I like, will you come to see the house?” We drove to a small town in northern Worcester County, down a narrow dirt road lined with huge old maples and there was the house.


Filed under: Farm History


hours & information 



Open Daily Year-Round!

The farm store is currently open for curbside pickup only (daily 9 am - 5 pm).   To place an order, make payment, and confirm pickup please go to our new curbside pickup page!


We hope to re-open at some point this summer!  Sign up for our email list to receive the latest updates on our re-opening as we respond to the pandemic and navigate new safety measures.


Closed for the season.


Come find us at the Boston Public Market, where we're open daily!

The Boston Public Market is only open for online Mercato orders at this time.


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Dear customers, We hope you're staying safe and healthy during the pandemic! At this time we are open for curbside pick-up only at the farm, and for delivery only in Boston. All festival and event dates are TBD pending new developments in the MA guidelines on re-opening. Our first priority is health and safety. Thank you for your understanding!