The Carlsons of Carlson Orchards in Harvard have been growing fruit since the 1930s. They now have 140 acres of peaches, nectarines, blueberries, raspberries, pumpkins — and 20 varieties of apple. Depending on the time of year, we may have more than a dozen different Carlson apples at the farmstand!
Why so many varieties? “Everybody has a favorite,” says Debbie Athearn, who’s been doing business with the Carlsons for close to 25 years. For eating, Debbie enjoys Empires and McCouns; when it comes to baking, she likes to mix it up, balancing tart and sweet varieties.
“I like Cortlands, Northern Spys; I throw in a couple Empires for sweetness,” she says.
“Baldwin is one of my favorites, because it’s very tart.”
Carlson Orchards also supplies freshly sliced, untreated apples for the Moglo bakery (you’ll taste the difference in our apple pies), they make the best-tasting apple cider you can buy—and they even have mulling spices to go along with it.
Drop by the farmstand to pick your own apple! And don’t miss these apple-centric recipes, from our cookbooks and Island Grown: