Here in New England we have an amazing opportunity each and every fall to experience such a fantastic season that unfolds in front of us. The leaves turn magnificent shades of a variety of warm colors as our cool autumn nights lead to early morning frost. Many of us here in New England also enjoy all that we get to experience such as a trip to a local orchard where we can pick our own apples right off the trees and bring them on home to whip up a classic American apple pie topped off with crisp vanilla ice cream.
This year was the first year for me to discover the local orchards here in Litchfield County. I have always frequented Rogers Orchards on the top of Southington Mountain in Southington, but this year I wanted to explore the orchards here in the Litchfield Hills as so many people have bragged to me about them. I decided to take their word and set off to explore one local orchard that was anything but ordinary, this place was the bucolic New England you have been searching for. Ellsworth Hill Orchard & Berry Farm located in Sharon just up Route 4 is quite the amazing experience. Folks come from all across the globe just to discover this place and it’s no wonder why. It sits atop a hill and overlooks some incredible views of Litchfield County. The orchard is the highest point of the farm and is one of the best places to catch these views. The orchard is, of course, a great place this time of year as you get to pick all your own apples to bring home. This is an exciting event that the whole family can enjoy and is really fun for the kids. Ellsworth has done a great job of planting and maintaining these apple trees over the years and it is visible by the delicious apples that they produce.
Ellsworth offers you every kind of apple you can imagine. Everything from Macoun to Northern Spy is just waiting for your enjoyment. My personal favorite is the Golden Delicious, which is perfectly described in its name! A splash of sweetness with a taste you just can’t beat. Speaking of tasting, your probably going to want to walk it all off. Ellsworth has a unique treat for you. Have you ever dreamed to be a kid again? Well, here is where that dream can all come true! Ellsworth offers you a giant corn maze that you will make you want to play hide and go seek and relive all those great childhood memories. The corn maze is also very educational, however, as you are given a crossword puzzle to fill out as you’re searching for clues inside the maze which are questions that you have to figure out the answer to. It’s an amazing experience you’re not going want to miss out on, it was possibly the best hour I’ve spent today.
Once you’ve found your way out of the maze, check out the retail store, which is actually a barn that was built back in 1740! Talk about history. There were certainly many generations of families that have passed through these doors. Step inside to a rustic barn with a real cider mill! Be sure to get a glimpse of that and learn all about the process of what it takes to make apple cider. It’s quite the process! This store is sure to delight you, however, as you get a taste of the local flavor. Ellsworth offers you everything from apple cider to baked products that are sure to delight. Though take your time. Your going to want to stay here for a while and take it all in as you are smack dat in the middle of simpler times, and what an experience it is.
Mike Valletta can be reached for comment at: NorthwestCTMike@aol.com