Brooksby Farm


When selecting a place to go apple picking, the apples and the gorgeous fall setting are important factors, but just as important to me is the quality of the cider donuts. As for orchards that lack donuts, well, you probably won’t find me picking there. I’d had Brooksby Farm in Peabody on my list for over a year. Cider Hill is my tried and true, but I’m always curious to discover new places. Brooksby Farm is only about a half hour from the city, a good bit shorter than either Cider Hill or many of the orchards out west like Honeypot Hill in Stow, which are close to an hour away.

When my friend Katherine and I pulled up, we were could see rows of apple trees on either side of the road. We were directed to the right, past several rows of trees towards a busy parking lot and a kiosk where you purchase bags for picking. I knew that there was a farm store and assumed it was across the road. I was intent on donuts first so we headed across and down the road to the farm store (which, incidentally, you can drive to).

The store was spacious and stocked with the typical farm store items: fudge, jams, kettle corn, baked goods. We made a bee line to the back of the store where the donuts lay waiting.

Sadly, we were greeted with this unsightly scene: naked donuts!!!! They looked so sad and bare. You see, a cider donut simply has to have a cinnamon-sugar coating. Absence of a cinnamon-sugar coating is a complete game-changer for me. Had I known about the naked donut situation prior to going, I would not have gone. I bought a couple anyway because I was craving any donut-type substance. The lack of coating could be excusable if the donut had a nice sweetness to it and cider flavor, but it did not. It was begging for some cinnamon-sugar.

About the apples. There were two varieties for picking that day: Macintosh and Cortland. The orchard was busy but the trees were brimming, especially if you walked just beyond the trees closest to the entrance. At $7 for a half-peck, they are reasonably priced too. If your primary goal in going to an orchard is apples, Brooksby is just fine. Maybe a little busy on a beautiful fall day, but quite pleasant. If you’re in the market for cider donuts too though, you might want to look elsewhere.

Brooksby Farm
Felton Street
Peabody, MA

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21 Responses to Brooksby Farm

  1. Michelle says:

    While I do love both “naked” and cinnamon sugar dusted cider donuts, I can understand your disappointment! I’m looking forward to going apple picking and wine tasting at Nashoba Valley this weekend!

  2. I need to go apple picking soon!

  3. Meesh says:

    we were going to go apple picking this weekend but didn’t because we thought it might rain, and it didn’t all day yesterday. FAIL. im dying for an apple cider doughnut (definitely not naked, though).

  4. Sacha says:

    I’m right with you. I’m slowly but surely working my way through an orchard crawl that I plan on posting later on in the season, and I totally put more weight on the cider donuts than the picking. Cider Hill is on my list!

  5. Molly Galler says:

    I’m a huge fan of Lull Farm in Hollis, NH. Worth every minute of the 50 minute drive up there. Sorry you didn’t get the cinnamon sugar on your donuts!

  6. Sadness over the donuts!!!!! I gotta admit- I love them anyway you can make them but I definitely understand the disappointment! Thanks for the rec too on Brooksby-I’ve been looking for a spot to go that’s a bit closer than Honey Pot and some of the other ones…

  7. Russell Orchard and Smolak Farms (both on the North Shore) have THE BEST cider donuts. They do not have the coating, but they do not need them – they are THAT good!

  8. Daisy says:

    wtf is the point of a plain cider donut. not ok!

  9. Erica says:

    bahhh! What a letdown! Jealous of yummy fresh apples though!

  10. shannon says:

    have you tried tougas family farms?? best cider donuts i’ve had in quite some time… love the spice and the texture is spot-on :) already made it out there twice this year!

  11. What – naked doughnuts! The cider doughnuts at Boston Hill Farm are pretty good.

  12. Ranjani says:

    I totally agree that the real reason to go apple picking is the cider doughnuts! Too bad these weren’t up to par…

  13. Megan says:

    I had a really bad (soggy) naked cider doughnut this weekend, and I am now stocked up on apples and cider and need time to make my own to get over the horrifying experience! Who makes cider doughnuts without cinnamon-sugar?!

  14. Joanne says:

    Word up on the need for cinnamon sugar. First of all…it’s basically one of the best things on this earth. Second of all, it makes everything look so pretty!

  15. judy herrell says:

    Yum, Cider Donuts. I wait all year for them! I wonder how they would taste in Ice Cream!
    Judy Herrell
    Herrell’s Ice Cream

  16. Pingback: Bolton Orchards | Free Food Boston

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