What We Grow
We grow apples, peaches, pears, pumpkins, gourds, potatoes, winter squash, blueberries, raspberries, popping corn, Indian corn, and sunflowers.
You can pick-your-own fruit from July through October on the farm, beginning with berries over the summer.
Drive by the farm during peak sunflower picking season in mid August to catch these cheerful blooms towering over the stone wall entrance.
You’ll be surprised to learn how many apple varieties are ready to pick during August, too.
Wondering when your favorite fruit will be ready to pick? Bookmark this page with approximate harvest dates for everything we grow (but call us if you’re looking for real-time picking conditions – weather and other factors make every year different!)
Share in our harvest by signing up for a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) or “farm share.” It’s an affordable way to try the unique varieties of apples and other fruit we grow while also financially supporting the farm during our off season.
Learn about our growing practices at Red Apple Farm- from using green energy, to ecological pest management techniques.
We grow over 50 unique types of apples.
Did you know … apples have two parents, just like humans! They’re cross-pollinated, which means that the tree that grows from any given seed will have DNA from the “mother variety” (the same as the apple from which the seed came), and the “pollen parent.” Some apples have known origins, some are intentionally bred, and some are what we call “chance seedlings.” Read below to learn more about the history and taste of the apple varieties we grow at Red Apple Farm!
The majority of the trees in our orchard are McIntosh or in the McIntosh family, and with good reason. “Macs” are unparalleled in flavor, and have been used to breed some of your fall favorites like Macoun, Cortland, and Empire.
11 McIntosh Type Apples We Grow:
Originated in Amherst, Massachusetts and introduced in 1953. Puritans are a McIntosh, Red Astrachan cross. The Puritan is a soft and somewhat tart apple mainly used for eating and cooking. It has a slight citrusy flavor and helps make our early cider presses more complex.
Early Mac (August)
Introduced in 1923 and originated in Geneva, New York. The Early Mac is a cross between a Yellow Transparent and a McIntosh. Early Macs are moderately firm and crisp and good for eating and baking.
Paula Red (August)
Introduced in 1967 in Sparta, Michigan. Paula Reds are very firm and tart, good for eating and cooking. Small in size, they make the perfect little snack. Their flavor has a hint of strawberry and their interior is delightfully white. Though their exact parentage is a mystery, they were discovered adjacent to a McIntosh orchard and are believed to have been cross pollinated by a Mac variety. Their appearance, texture, and flavor all line up with this theory!
Marshall McIntosh (Early September)
It doesn’t get more local than this: Marshall McIntosh apples were discovered in Fitchburg, MA in 1967, at neighboring Hollis Hills Farm (formerly Marshall Farms, hence the name). We get much of our maple syrup supply from Hollis Hills to this day! This is a medium sized McIntosh hybrid that ripens slightly earlier, and has a lovely sweet-tart flavor. Its inside is crisp but still soft enough to bite into without struggle.
A cross between the varieties McIntosh and Red Delicious, originated in Geneva, NY. Excellent for eating and salads, and good for sauce, baking, pies and freezing. Red, juicy, firm, crunchy and sweet with bright white flesh and a nice round shape.
Originated in Dundas County, Ontario and was introduced in 1836. McIntosh apples are crisp and somewhat firm with a mainly sweet taste. The McIntosh is a popular apple used for eating, cooking, cider and sauce.
A small sweet apple with bright crimson skin and white flesh. Straight from the tree the flesh is very crisp and juicy, but it softens a bit within a week or so of picking – although remaining juicy. It was raised at the Canadian Apple Research Station in Summerland, British Columbia, in the 1920s, and the mother variety is McIntosh. There is some uncertainty over the pollen parent, though it is usually thought to be Newtown Pippin.
Originated in Geneva, New York and introduced in 1915. The Cortland is a cross between the Ben Davis and the McIntosh apple. Cortlands are moderately firm, crisp, and sweet – good for eating, drying, freezing, salads, baking and cider. They brown slowly after slicing, making them popular for salads and lunch boxes especially.
Originated in Geneva, New York and introduced in 1923. Macouns are a cross between the McIntosh and the Jersey Black apple, giving them a distinctive burgundy color. The Macoun is moderately firm and crisp with a sweet flavor. To many people, they taste like “fall.” The Macoun is a popular eating apple. Technically pronounced “ma-cown” after Canadian horticulturalist W.T. Macoun, but some people say “ma-coon” or “ma-gow-an!”
Originated in Summerland, British Columbia and introduced to the U.S. in 1959. The Spencer is a cross between a McIntosh and Golden Delicious and is a great eating apple. Spencers are firm and crisp with a very sweet, mild flavor.
Also known as the Fameuse apple, these originated in France and are named for their snow-white flesh. They are believed to possibly be one parent of the Macintosh apple (though their own lineage is unknown). They are delicious fresh off the tree, in cider, or in culinary creations, with a distinct spicy flavor. We only have one single Snow tree, so if you show up during late September you just might be lucky enough to snag one of these rarities.
Other Apple Varieties
We grow a mix of old and new varieties: rare New England heirlooms like Rhode Island Greening and Roxbury Russet, and more modern cultivars such Mutsu and Honey Crisp. You’ll find an original 1912 McIntosh tree and young trellised trees growing in close proximity in our orchard.
Vista Bella (Late July):
Developed at Rutgers University back in the 1950s, this is a crisp, tart and remarkably rich-flavoured apple for one harvested so early. Ripens in late July, kickstarting the summer harvest. Extremely tart and acidic. Best for eating fresh if you can handle the tartness! Eat within a day or two for optimal freshness.
Yellow Transparent (August):
One of hundreds of Russian apples imported into the United States by the USDA in the late 1800’s as part of a program to introduce very cold-hardy varieties. These apples are best known for their soft, creamy, sweet-tart flesh that makes amazing apple sauce or apple butter. It is said to be creamy like baby food – combine it with a sweeter variety to make a sauce with great flavor and texture. This old variety reminds customers of their Grandmother’s apple sauce and pie.
Hybrid of the ‘Yellow Transparent’ and ‘Montgomery Sweet’ cultivars, both of which were originally from the New York Agricultural Experiment Station. It was introduced in 1924 and has a sharp flavor, best used for cooking. The soft, creamy flesh of Lodi apples lends itself well to pies and applesauce and can be sliced and frozen to extend the harvest.
Jersey Mac (August):
Originated in New Brunswick, New Jersey and was introduced in 1972. The Jersey Mac is a cross between the July Red and the NH 24. Jersey Macs are moderately firm and sweet-tart.
Williams Pride (August):
Developed by Edwin B. Williams, the long-time leader of the disease-resistant apple breeding program at Purdue University. This dark red-skinned apple has an excellent balance of sugar and acid and looks great, too. It’s one of a few varieties we grow that debunk the commonly-held view that early apples are second rate. Firm, with complex flavor. Best for fresh eating; keeps for about 1 month in the refrigerator (unusually long for an early season apple).
Duchess of Oldenburg (August):
Known for its extreme winter hardiness, this is one of many fine old apples of Russian origin. It was introduced into England around 1817. In 1835, the Massachusetts Horticultural Society imported this apple into the United States. Very popular as a cooking and fresh eating apple, Duchess is a medium to large fruit with smooth yellow skin overlaid with red stripes. The whitish flesh is tender, crisp and juicy with a tangy flavor.
Red Gravenstein (August):
An attractive high-quality dessert and culinary apple, first described in 1797. It is well-known in the USA and northern Europe, and is still grown commercially on a small-scale. It is considered by many to be one of the best all-around apples with a sweet, tart flavor and is especially good for baking and cooking. It is known as a good cooking apple, especially for apple sauce and apple cider. The flesh is crisp, juicy, finely grained, and light yellow. Gravenstein was declared the “national apple” of Denmark in 2005. These were Carolyn Rose’s (second generation) favorite pie and sauce apple. But Bill Rose (third generation) prefers them for fresh eating.
An American cultivar – one of the first to survive in the cold Minnesota climate. Horticulturalist Peter Gideon first grew it in 1868 after much trial and error by crossing a Siberian crab apple with seeds from Maine. He named the apple after his wife. The apples are green with a scarlet blush. They have crisp white flesh, with occasional pink flecks. Fruit is multipurpose, but works best in pies, crisps, and sauces.
Ginger Gold (September):
One of our most popular apple varieties! Great for snacking, for adding to salads, or even for baking as they keep their shape when cooked. The fruit is large, conical and starts out a very pale green, though if left on the tree will ripen to a soft yellow with a slightly waxy appearance. The flavor is mild but with a tart finish. The flesh is light and slow to brown (a sign of high vitamin C content!)
Summer Rambo (September):
This is an old-school variety dating back to 1535 in Northern France, and colonial times in the U.S. It is medium – large in size and very low in acidity, making it a favorite for baking or apple sauce. It was used in the winning pie of the Merryweather Great Pie Taste-Off in 2019! The flesh is dense and firm with a greenish tint.
Honey Crisp (September):
Introduced in 1991 and originated in Excelsior, Minnesota at the University of Minnesota’s apple develpment program. The Honeycrisp apple was thought to be a cross between the Macoun and the Honeygold, but genetic testing has shown the Keepsake apple to be the only identified parent. Honeycrisps are very crisp and sweet apples great for eating.
This apple was one of many seedlings resulting from a cross between a Golden Delicious and a Kidd’s Orange Red planted in New Zealand in the 1930s. They are nonuniform in color, usually vertically striped or mottled, with an overall orange color. They are very sweet, fine textured, and aromatic, and can be added to salads, cooked, or eaten raw. In 2018, they surpassed Red Delicious as the apple cultivar with the highest production in the United States. According to the US Apple Association it was the first time in over 50 years that any cultivar was produced more than Red Delicious.
Rhode Island Greening (September):
True to their name, these apples originated in Rhode Island around 1650. They are firm and very tart, similar to Granny Smith. The fruit is large, uniformly round in shape, and flattened on the ends, with a dark, waxy, green skin that turns a greenish-yellow when fully ripe. It ripens from September to October, keeping well into February or longer. These are a great pie apple – we used to sell all ours to Table Talk pies back when we were in the wholesale business!
Roxbury Russet (September):
The oldest apple variety that originated in North America, dating back to the colonial era. It is probably a seedling of an apple variety brought over by early settlers from Europe. The trademark of the russet apples is their rough skin. These russets have a mild, juicy, pear-like flavor. Their uniqueness makes them well suited to cider, salads, or even cheese plates.
Originated in Wilmington, MA during the colonial era. They were first called “Woodpeckers” because the birds frequented the Baldwin tree. A harsh winter in 1934 wiped out many of the Baldwin apple orchards in New England. Their popularity as an eating apple waned, but some orchards were preserved for many years because of its desirability as a cider apple – unlike many apples, they have long been prized for the making of hard cider. They were named after Col. Loammi Baldwin of Woburn, MA, who was a second cousin of Johnny Appleseed and planted a row of Baldwins at his orchard in Woburn after visiting the Woodpecker tree in Wilmington and cutting some scions. Nowadays these apples are hard to come by!
Ida Red (October):
The red apple from Idaho – an attractive apple with a mild apple flavor. Its main feature is its remarkably long storage potential – even in a domestic fridge it will keep for 6 months. As a result it has become quite popular. A cross between two old-time New York apples, Jonathan and Wagener. Makes especially good pink-hued applesauce if cooked with the skins on and strained afterward.
Originated in Ohio early in the 19th century. They are rounded, all red, and very glossy, with a thick skin and firm flesh. Primarily used for baking, as their flavor develops when cooked, and they hold their shape well.
Red Delicious (October):
Introduced in 1895 and originated in Peru, Iowa. Red Delicious apples have thick skins with a crisp center and sweet flavor. They have a bad reputation for being mealy, but their texture is actually crisp and juicy when eaten fresh off the tree.
Golden Delicious (October):
Originated in West Creek, Virginia and intoduced in 1916. The Golden Delicious is a firm, crisp apple with a sweet flavor good for eating and baking. It is prone to bruising and shriveling, so it needs careful handling and storage. It is a favorite for salads, applesauce, and apple butter.
Sekai Ichi (October):
Sekai Ichi apples stand out for their extremely large size (up to 2 lbs!) and round shape. Sekai Ichi is a cross between the famous Red Delicious and Golden Delicious apples, originating in Japan. The skin has a yellow background overlaid with red stripes and a pinkish-red blush, although some fruits are entirely red if they receive enough sun while growing. The flavor is sweet but mild, with very little tartness, which gives it a sweet aroma as well. The texture is somewhat firm, crisp, and juicy.
Northern Spy (October):
A famous pie apple! Northern Spy produces fairly late in the season (late October and beyond). Skin color is a green ground, flushed with red stripes where not shaded. The white flesh is juicy, crisp and mildly sweet with a rich, aromatic subacid flavor, noted for high vitamin C content. Its characteristic flavor is more tart than most popular varieties, and its flesh is harder/crunchier than most, with a thin skin. They are also great for making cider.
Winter Banana (October):
Originated around 1875-76 on the farm of David Flory of Cass County, Indiana and was introduced commercially in 1890. It is a fine fresh-eating apple with a mild, sweet flavor and is best enjoyed as a dessert apple. The mildness of its flavor makes it less desirable as a cooking or baking apple. It is a highly aromatic apple with a pleasant, perfumed aroma that some people discern as banana. According to Bill, our third generation farmer, they make the smoothest hard cider. They’re one of the only self-pollinating apple varieties!
A flattish round, medium size apple. Almost solid red over green background with prominent white or russet dots. Tender, crisp, juicy flesh. Most refreshing flavor. Valued for its size and high quality, it was especially noted for its long keeping abilities. Fruit size is medium to large with thick, smooth, glossy yellow skin overlaid with rich-red and streaks of darker red. The surface is punctuated with large, conspicuous, light colored dots. The yellowish flesh is fine-grained and juicy and often stained with red. Ripens October to November and is an excellent keeper.
Tompkins King (October):
This old apple is thought to have come from New Jersey, and brought to Tompkins County, New York, by Jacob Wycoff in 1804, who called it King. It was renamed King of Tompkins County about 1855. Large in size and somewhat flat in shape, it is ribbed with dark red stripes over yellow, flushed skin. When you bite in, the yellow flesh is pretty dense, but plenty crisp and tender, with a sweet and aromatic flavor.
Yellow Newtown Pippin (October):
Our hardest apple of all. Originated in New York in the early 1700’s, most likely in what is now known as the borough of Queens, NY. One fun fact is that in 1838 Queen Victoria was presented with two barrels of American-grown Pippins. She so thoroughly enjoyed the apples she immediately lifted the English import tax on apples. This opened the door for the import of hundreds of thousands of tons of fruit from the US to England through the end of World War I when England reinstated the import tax. Yellow Newtown Pippin is a medium to large apple, greenish-yellow in color with hints of pink at the stem end. The yellowish flesh is firm, crisp, and very aromatic. A good storage apple ripening in October and keeping into February or later.
Mutsu “Pippin Crispin” (October):
Introduced in 1948 and is a cross between Golden Delicious and Indo apples, both first grown in Japan. Named after the Mutsu province of Japan. A medium to large green apple with flesh varying in color from white to greenish yellow. It is generally not uniform in shape or size. Flavor is aromatic, sweet, and sharp. It is suitable for eating on its own, juicing, drying, or cooking, as it maintains its shape well when cooked. It can be kept for up to three months before going bad!
Arkansas Black (October):
Bill Rose planted these when he took ownership because he knew they hang on all winter – they’re one of the best “keepers.” They originated in the mid to late 1800’s in Bentonville, Arkansas, possibly discovered and raised by a settler named John Crawford. Believed to be a seedling of Winesap, sharing their tart, tangy flavor and the ability to stay firm, crisp and flavorful after many months in storage. In fact, the apple reaches its peak in flavor and texture after a long period in cold storage – the sharp tartness mellows significantly into a rich sweetness. The hard, dense texture improves greatly as well, becoming a softer and more tender apple while still retaining a pleasing crispness. Very dark red in color with pale yellow flesh and a complex, sharp, wine-like flavor. Holds its shape well when cooked and also makes great juice or cider.
A cross between two classic American apples – Red Delicious and Virginia Ralls Janet, bred in Fujisaki, Japan in the late 1930s. These apples contain between 15% to 18% sugar levels, making them one of the sweetest varieties available. A very round, medium to large apple. Usually green or yellow-green, with red highlights or a pink flush, and a “matte” watercolor-like quality. The flesh is crisp and yellow, and the shelf-life is great for year-round storage.
This is a well-known American heirloom apple, and was a major commercial variety in Virginia during the 19th century. Its origins are unknown. Winesap apples are dark red, round and medium sized, with exceptionally juicy, creamy yellow flesh. Winesap apples are highly aromatic with a balanced sweet-tart taste and get their name due to their distinctive spicy wine like flavor. Because they’re so flavorful and juicy, they make amazing cider and are great for cooking!
Lucky Rose (October):
A Golden Delicious type apple that Bill just had to plant because of the name! It was planted the year before Al and Nancy took over the farm.