Last month, I went apple picking back when it was “Augtober,” prime time for apple picking but unseasonably warm. Always searching for a new farm, my research brought me to Phil’s Apples, a charming orchard in Harvard, MA. Phil’s is a small operation, no fancy farm store here. Unless you count the table at the entrance where you pay to pick and can also purchase a jar of their own honey. There is barely a parking lot, the entrance is immediately off the side of the road and all of the cars parked along the patch of grass that runs between the road and the low stone wall bordering the farm.
In addition to apples and honey, Phil’s does sell one other product, their own freshly pressed apple cider. Immediately ahead of the entrance is a small cider house that churns it out fresh. Walk beyond the cider mill and you’ll find rows and rows of apple trees enclosed by a border of large trees that at the time were just starting to turn.
The sea of verdant green was interrupted here and there by clusters of vibrant oranges, yellows and reds, a stunning backdrop for an afternoon of picking apples. The staff at Phil’s were very friendly and the orchard had a much more relaxed vibe than the bigger, more heavily visited operations. We easily filled a half-peck with some Macouns and two other varieties.
After picking we headed off to another farm down the same road, Prospect Hill Road. Off to the west is the Oxbox National Wildlife Refuge, a vast expanse of greenery with scenic views for miles. Further west and north beyond the refuge is Fort Devens, an active military base. Apple picking or not, if you’re looking for a scenic drive, the roads around Harvard, MA are some to check out.
24 Prospect Hill Road