Summer, fall score top taste
The state of Maine, despite its cooler climes and rigorous terrain, produces a bounty of delicious fruits throughout the summer months and into the autumn. Freshest off the tree or plant, these delectables delights thrive in Maine's temperatures.
There are numerous opportunities throughout the state to pick your own fruits on farms and orchards. These family-bonding trips are not only delicious, but wonderful side excursions during a vacation.
Rolling hills lined with rowed gangly trees present the fall's sweetest treat in the Pine Tree State. Apple orchards . The readily available varieties of apple in the state of Maine include McIntosh, Cortland, Macoun, Empire and Honeycrisp. The McIntosh is a favorite among snackers and often grow to Apple picking begins near the end of August and usually continues until Halloween. All five varieties are usable in a number of ways including snacks, cider, pies and jams.
With more than 60,000 acres of fields across the Pine Tree State, the wild Maine Blueberries are the official state berry. The majority of the acreage covered is in rural Washington County, abutting New Brunswick, with harvesting taking place from the end of July through Labor Day. The little, juicy fruit are dwarfed by their relatives in New Jersey, but are sweet
After the industry disappeared in Maine in the early 20th century , commercial cranberry farming reemerged in the late 1980s/early 1990s. Cranberries are native to Maine's bogs and swamps, but now more than 30 farms exist in Maine for cranberry production. Most of these farms exist in Washington County, the stronghold of Maine's wild blueberry crop. These red beauties ripen around the beginning of October. The fruit are harvested in plenty of time for a tangy cranberry sauce for the Thanksgiving table.
Varieties of raspberries and blackberries are abundant throughout Maine, but pick-your-own ventures are a little more dangerous. Raspberry and blackberry bushes are covered with thorns that are easy to navigate through if you pay attention. If not, the minor scrapes are well worth the tasty treats, which cook up well for use in jams and syrups.
Pick-your-own entertainment is an early July strawberry trip with a gaggle of children. If the sweet taste of the succulent berries don't make you happy, the reddish mitts of the children making their way through a patch will surely make you smile. Pick-your-own is a popular with apple orchards, berry farms and pumpkins in Maine and make for a fun trek out to a local farm.