Rocky Ridge Orchards in Bowdoin also houses a bakery, apple cidery and sandwich shop, along with Maine-made items for sale. Sande Updegraph / For The Forecaster

The sky is blue, the air is crisp, the trees are vivid green and many are covered with brilliant red apples just ready to be enjoyed. Then comes the fragrance of pies baking and applesauce simmering.

Sande Updegraph lives in Brunswick and is a longtime food writer. She can be reached at [email protected]

Here are a few nearby orchards that remind you fall is almost here.

Rocky Ridge Orchards, 38 Rocky Ridge Lane (Route 201), Bowdoin, 666-5786. Rocky Ridge is an orchard, bakery, apple cidery, sandwich shop and Maine-made gift shop. It’s open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week. Beginning Sept. 5, pick-your-own will be open for a fall family adventure. Varieties include Macintosh, Cortland, Macoun, Red Delicious, Honeycrisp and many more. You can find baked beans and cole slaw on Saturdays and Toots ice cream, and Smiling Hill Farms milk every day.

Sweetser’s Apple Barrel and Orchards, 19 Blanchard Road, Cumberland Center, 829-6599, open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day of the week. Among the early apples being featured are Zestar!, Paula Red, Hard Green Macintosh and Cortland, but they grow 50 varieties. Sweet corn is featured, among other fall vegetables. Sweetser’s has partnered with many local food producers. HIFI Donuts makes their apple cider donuts, the pies and pastries are from Two Fat Cats, Squire Mountain provides cheeses, Cooper Farms supplies local maple syrup and honey, and Cumberland Baking Co. makes the cookies.

Hansel’s Orchards, 44 Sweetser Road, North Yarmouth, 829-6136. From Sept. 12 through late October it will be open for picking from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, 1-5 p.m. Wednesdays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 12, Indigenous Peoples Day. Macintosh, Cortland and Macoun varieties are grown on the farm and bagged apples will also be available for purchase.

Thompson’s Orchards & Bakery, 276 Gloucester Hill Road, New Gloucester, 926-4738. It is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 5 until Christmas Eve, with pick-your-own or ready-picked apples, including Honeycrisp, Macintosh, Paula Red and Cortland. They press their own cider, bake their own donuts and pastries, and feature Maine crafts and items from local artisans. And, of course, apple pies.

Pleasant Pond Orchard, 430 Brunswick R0ad, Richmond, 737-4443, grows apples, pears, plums and peaches, along with blueberries and blackberries and over 50 varieties of modern and heirloom apples. They press their own cider and bake pies and scones and sell their own granola. They are open in the fall from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays and 10 a.m to 6 p.m.Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

Wallingford’s Fruit House, 1240 Perkins Ridge Road, Auburn, 784-7958, open every day from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. They grow seven apple varieties that you can pick until the end of October. They also sell pies, fudge, donuts, apple dumplings and more.

Culinary News

Maineapples.org is an informative website with an orchard-finder that includes maps. It lists apple varieties and recipes and provides notes on growing apples.

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