Wednesday, August 27, 2014

PYO Apples, Nectarines, Scavenger Hunts, Garlic, and Bluegrass: New England Fall Events for August 27-31

Hello New Englanders!
apples ripening Carlson Orchards Harvard MA_New England Fall Events
We caught a glimpse of the apples
coming along at Carlson Orchards

We’re thrilled to share that even more New England apple orchards are opening up for PYO apple picking this weekend! Early-season apples are what you’ll find - Paula Reds, Ginger Golds, Early Macs, and Zestar top the list.  
Always check with the farm the day-of to see if they are picking as many will begin selling pre-picked before PYO opens up (as you will likely find in southern New England).

When it comes to early picking, Maine’s PYO apples are furthest underway—consider Doles Orchard, Treworgy Family Orchard, and Lakeview Orchard if you live in Maine or are heading up for the long weekend. 

PYO Peaches _Carlson Orchards Harvard MA_New England Fall Events
Many New England farms are still
hosting PYO peaches in their orchards
Last weekend after our outing at the Pig n’ Pepper Fest in Westford, MA we couldn’t resist popping by Carlson Orchards in Harvard, MA on the way back. Carlson was still picking peaches and nectarines and they were excited to share that their apple picking kicks off this weekend.
We made a tasty nectarine crisp (recipe posted at the end) and have been swimming in this sweet late-summer fruit all week long—we love having this “problem”.

If you love berries, many local farms are still offering PYO blueberries, raspberries, and soon you’ll find blackberries and the peaches at Carlson Orchards looked spectacular.

Barn Sign  Carlson Orchards Harvard MA_New England Fall Events
We love this welcoming barn sign!
As always, New England Fall Events makes it a snap to find your local or vacation-area orchards. Here are your quick links to the apple picking guides:

New England Fall Events allows you to track farm locations on the interactive state maps too… Orchard and fall attraction maps for ConnecticutMaineMassachusettsNew HampshireRhode Island, and Vermont.

Remember, always call ahead before heading out to PYO as some farms will adjust their hours for weather or they close to allow more time for fruit to ripen.

New England Foliage Report from our favorite foliage tracker Jeff-Foliage:
White Church in Fall Foliage
Randolph, NH

Will September set us up for success or failure in our fall foliage search? In the last month or so I've written several articles about everything from, how to make plans in case of rain to what might happen if we get a colder than average September. So far this August we've seen cooler than average temperatures and a decent amount of rain. There's been talk of polar vortexes and even snow in September! 
What are we going to get? Find out the answer here.

New England Fall Events' Top Recommendations for Labor Day Weekend Fun
With the long weekend fast approaching, you’ll be happy to know that there are plenty of fabulous outdoor activities to help you transition out of summer and into everyone’s favorite season. Here are our recommended activities for Labor Day Weekend:

New England Trail Family Ramble: Scavenger Hunt – FREE
Meriden, CT  Details
Saturday, August 30, 2014

Vermont Garlic and Herb Festival 
Bennington, VT  Details
Saturday and Sunday, August 30-31st, 2014

Labor Day Weekend Festival at Emery Farm 
Durham, NH  Details
Saturday, August 30th, 2014

Wine, Cheese and Chocolate Pairing Class
Haight-Brown Vineyards in Litchfield, CT  Details
Saturday and Sunday  August 30th-31st, 2014

North Branch Bluegrass Festival
Bridgewater, VT   Details
Wednesday-Sunday August 27th - August 31st, 2014

Portland Brew Festival
Portland, ME  Details
Friday and Saturday August 29th – 30th

King Richard's Renaissance Faire
Carver, MA  Details
Saturdays and Sundays August 30th - October 19th, 2014

Where is New England Fall Events Headed this Weekend?

Escobar Farm's Corn Maze_The Wizard of Oz_ Anniversary_New England Fall Events
Escobar Farm's Corn Maze Celebrates
The Wizard of Oz's 75th Anniversary
New England Fall Events will be swinging by Escobar Farm in Portsmouth, RI to experience the Wizard of Oz anniversary corn maze for ourselves! 

Find maze details, prices, hours, special events, and links to directions here. You can save $2 when you print the coupon from Escobar’s page on New England Fall Events.
We hope to see you there too!

Say-Goodbye-to-Summer Nectarine Crisp Recipe

Makes 8 servings.

6 Cups sliced nectarines
1/2 Cup (for fruit) and 1/3 cup packed brown sugar (for topping)
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
¼  tsp. salt (for fruit) and ¼ tsp. salt (for topping)
3/4 Cup flour
1/2 Cup old-fashioned rolled oats
½ Cup chopped pecans (optional)
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
6 Tbsp butter (divided into 3 Tbsp cold butter and 3 Tbsp melted butter)

Preheat oven to 375 F. Coat an 8-inch-square baking dish with butter.

Mix together nectarines, ½ cup of brown sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Transfer into prepared baking dish.

Crumb Topping:
In a medium bowl, stir together flour, oats, 1/3 cup brown sugar, baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Add 3 Tbsp of cold butter into the flour mixture and pinch crumble together using your fingers until the butter is distributed evenly into crumbs. Sprinkle crumb topping over the fruit and drizzle melted butter over the topping.

Bake for 30 minutes, until fruit is bubbling and topping is crispy and brown. Cool before serving.

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