Monday, September 1, 2014

Early Fall Apple Picking at NH's Stunning DeMeritt Hill Farm

DeMeritt Hill Farm NH _ New England Fall Events_Scenic
A stunning early fall day at
DeMeritt Hill Farm in Lee, NH

On Saturday, New England Fall Events took a delightful trip up to Lee, New Hampshire to visit DeMeritt Hill Farm. We were in the area getting a sneak peak of Haunted Overload for our sister site Halloween New England (the haunted trail is located in the woods at DeMeritt Hill Farm) so it was super easy to squeeze in some apple picking fun!

We’d been to DeMeritt Hill Farm before but never had the pleasure of apple picking until now. As it is early in the apple picking season, this trip was a peaceful, crowd-free affair.  The parking is free and easy to access near the entrance and the farm store is just a few steps away. We pre-paid for an apple picking bag at the store and headed outside to climb up onto the hayride wagon.  On this day, farm manager Mike Lynch was at the helm to drive us up to the orchard.

DeMeritt Hill Farm NH _ New England Fall Events_Hayride
Free hayrides to the orchard
As eager as we were to begin picking fruit, we admit we never wanted the hayride to end. DeMeritt Hill Farm’s expansive New Hampshire property is about as scenic as it can get. We bumped along past rows of mid- and late-season apple trees still ripening.

The incredible New England weather delivered a stunner of a day complete with a blue sky and puffy clouds to complement the lovingly tended green orchard so nicely.  We took picture after picture of the gentle rolling hills as we rode past barns and an equestrian area.
On this holiday weekend, there was nowhere we’d rather be.

DeMeritt Hill Farm NH _ New England Fall Events_Apple Picking
Clusters of early-fall Zestar! apples
At the farthest end of the field was the early-season apple orchard. This weekend Ginger Gold and Zestar! varieties were the ones ripe for picking. The rows of the orchard were all very clearly marked the tree branches were bowing with fat, ruby clusters of apples. To be perfectly frank, the apples were so abundant that we could have filled our bag in two minutes flat but, never one to rush a beloved fall activity like apple picking, we prolonged the experience to savor the day.

We thought we had the orchard to ourselves but we overheard a couple few rows over who had their dog in tow. DeMeritt Hill Farm is one of just a handful of dog-friendly New England orchards. As always, dogs are strictly required to be leashed at all times but it is a nice perk for those of us with furry friends.

DeMeritt Hill Farm NH _ New England Fall Events_Apple PickingWe didn’t wait long for the hayride to swing through to return us to the farm stand.  On this trip we came kid-free but families with little ones will have plenty of extra farm fun to round out their time at DeMeritt Hill Farm.

In addition to the free hayride, the farm has small petting zoo where kids can feed the chickens and goats, a kids’ play area, room to roam, a pumpkin patch (in season), and mini pony rides for a small fee. There are wooded nature trails on the edge of the property as well which we’ll make a point to do when we return to this farm (trail maps available).

DeMeritt Hill Farm NH _ New England Fall Events_Apple Picking Orchard
We have yet to meet a person who can leave an orchard store empty-handed and New England Fall Events is no exception.  We stocked up on apple cider, a stunning bouquet of flowers, a slice of fresh-baked carrot cake, and a handful of chocolate treats. Diana Russell, the friendly manager of the farm store, is also the owner of Creative Confections. An accomplished chocolatier, Diana sells a dazzling selection of her rich, creamy chocolaty treats right there in the store (don’t even think of leaving without the peanut butter cups). There are also fruit pies (whole and by-the-slice), cider donuts, farm-grown vegetables, pre-picked apples, local jams, drinks, and even pre-made sandwiches for a quick picnic.

DeMeritt Hill Farm NH _ New England Fall Events_Farm Saw Sign
DeMeritt Hill Farm is open from 10:00am-6:00pm seven days a week during the season (they opened Aug 23rd) where you can enjoy apple picking and the treats at the farm stand.
The extra activities for kids such as the mini pony rides available on the weekends only.

DeMeritt Hill Farm has a number of wonderful farm events coming up in September and October. We know that a trip to this southern New Hampshire farm will be well worth your time.

Family Weekend
Saturday and Sunday, September 12th and 13th, 2015 Click for details.

Harvest Weekend
Saturday and Sunday, September 26th and 27th, 2015 Click for details

Halloween Storybook Hayrides  
Saturday and Sunday, October 17th, 18th, 24th, and 25th, 2015 Click for details

Family Tips for Visiting DeMeritt Hill Farm
DeMerritt Hill Farm NH _ New England Fall Events_Apple Picking Weather
We love this cheeky sign posted
right outside the farm stand.

  • The Zestar apples were ridiculously delicious so if you love a tasty, sweet, juicy apple and you want to beat the crowds, kick start your apple picking season in early-September.
  • With a quaint petting zoo for feeding the animals, a play area, and mini-pony-rides, there are some nice extras for rounding out your trip.
  • The nature trail heads are located close to the parking lot and farm stand which makes it easy to grab the stroller or your ErgoBaby after you've finished apple picking. We love these great tips for going on a hike with your little one.
  • DeMeritt Hill Farm accepts plastic with a $10 minimum.
  • The simple pre-made sandwiches and other treats make it easy for an impromptu picnic.
  • The farm was easy to find on Lee Rd. (thank you, Waze!). The farm entrance is well-marked and so is the orchard--the rows clearly marked the different apple varieties

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