Apple-Picking

by Defne Karabucak

Photography by Madeleine Arch

Fall has officially begun. While exploring the city of Boston is exciting, a nice escape from the city is apple-picking. One great option to do so is Belkin Family Lookout Farm in Natick, open every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. This weekend adventure is perfect for everyone, from those who grew up in New England and started apple-picking when they were young to students who have never before apple-picked. Dressed in overalls, flannels and an abundance of denim, you can pick apples and pumpkins and experience a great fall tradition while enjoying the cooler weather.

A short 30-minute-drive to Belkin Family Lookout Farm via Zip Car or a friend’s car reveals colorful trees, pumpkins, apples, berries, pears and grapes. The farm has an extensive history that starts in 1605, and has been owned by the Belkin family since 2005.

The farm has rows of apple bushels, pumpkin patches and grapes growing from vines that mark the path.

The $15 admission allows you eat and pick as many apples and grapes as you want. An additional $14 or $22 lets you take home either a small or large bag full of fresh apples and pears. You can ride a small “train” to get to the orchard. The farm has a store that sells apple cider, apple cider donuts, pie, and more pre-picked apples that you can buy to top off your bag.

“It’s a typical fall activity and I like to get out of Boston occasionally on the weekends,” said Mia Donatello (SHA ’19). “I went with my sorority Gamma Phi Beta, and some of us bought apple cider and apple cider donuts on our way out.”

The most popular time of the year to pick apples is September through November. The freedom to walk around and search for apples is freeing and satisfying, especially when you find that perfect apple. The apples themselves are extremely fresh.

“I have a lot of friends who made apple pies and apple crisp,” said Donatello on the advantages of taking home apples.

While some students like Mia go with big groups, like her sorority, other students go with a group of friends.

“One of my friends dragged me to the farm but I ended up having a great time,” said Michael Dratch (CAS ’19). “We took a Zip Car to get there. It was really pretty and the place was huge. Everyone sat on this little train that drove you to the rows of apples. I thought it would only be apples, but there were tons of things you could pick. When we got home we bought a jar of peanut butter, sliced up the apples and ate four of them.”

Beyond apples and pumpkins, Belkin Family Lookout Farm is open August until the end of November and offers peaches and pears. Students are encouraged to go in big or small groups as a fun weekend activity before the end of November. Fresh air and fresh apples go hand in hand for an escape from the city adventure, especially with midterms coming to an end.

“If it were a really nice day, I would go back,” said Dratch. “It was definitely a great way to get the stress out.”