Post Content

Carlson's Orchard in Harvard, MA. Photo by Liz West.

Carlson’s Orchard in Harvard, MA. Photo by Liz West.

April’s Massachusetts Agriculture Calendar Photo Contest winner was Liz West, who photographed apple blossoms at Carlson’s Orchard in Harvard.

Carlson Orchards in Harvard, Massachusetts was founded in 1936 by Walter and Eleanor Carlson. In the thirties and forties, they made their living from a diversified farm of chickens, cows, potatoes and apples. In the late sixties, the farm began to specialize in fruit with apples being the main crop. Today, the Carlsons are dedicated to growing the best tree fruits, blueberries, raspberries, peaches and pumpkins. Bruce, Frank and Robert Carlson, the three proud sons of Walter & Eleanor, are dedicated to maintaining their family’s fine reputation and the great tradition of high quality apples and apple products that was started over 63 years ago.

Carlson Orchards is a 140 acre working farm that welcome customers July through October to pick their own fruit crop.  The home orchard is 50 acres of rolling green fruit trees, a prolific 25 year old blueberry patch, a Fall raspberry patch, several grassy fields suitable for gazing at the clouds, a frog pond with an unofficial count of over 50 dragonflies (last survey conducted by Ethan Brooks, age 11), a really, really great pumpkin patch, ten varieties of peaches, five varieties of nectarines, and of course, apple!  Over 18 varieties including McIntosh, Cortland, Macoun, Red Delicious, Honeycrisp, Ginger Gold, Empire, Royal Gala, Cameo, Jonagold, Crispen, Braeburn, Fuji, Granny Smith and super secret Baldwins. Check out their growing season chart!

Carlson Orchards hosts a Peach Festival each year and new this year will be a late fall Apple Festival (Oct. 18-19). They also welcome many area school children to learn about the orchard. They have a very active packing house where the apples are sorted, sized, bagged and boxed. Watching their business in operation makes a lasting and valuable impression on visitors, teaching them about local food and its economic importance in the Commonwealth. In 2010, they received grant funding to install 1,050 solar photovoltaic panels.

The Carlson family loves their orchards and knows you will too!

Each month, we are posting the 2014 Massachusetts Agriculture Calendar’s photo of the month. Featuring photos of Bay State farming, the calendar is available for purchase. All photos were taken by amateur photographers who won the annual Massachusetts Agriculture Calendar Photo ContestProceeds from the $10 calendars benefit Massachusetts Agriculture in the Classroom, a non-profit organization that works with teachers to develop classroom materials. The calendar features a winning photograph each month, as well as interesting facts about local agriculture.

Written By:


DAR Program Coordinator

With a background in the culinary arts, nutrition education and program development, Julia joined The Department of Agricultural Resources Division of Agricultural Markets in 2008 to help spread the word about Massachusetts’ incredible agricultural and culinary opportunities. She also coordinates several grant and marketing programs available to a diversified group of growers and agricultural associations across the Commonwealth. A Boston University graduate, she can be found in her spare time sourcing out the best local products for her next culinary creation or volunteering in the community.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Recent Posts

2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: March posted on Apr 23

2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: March

Girard’s Sugarhouse in Simsbury, CT.  The sugarhouse was built in 1887 and produces around 250-300 gallons of syrup annually.  Photo by Michael Girard March’s contest winner was Michael Girard who photographed his family’s sugarhouse in Health. Michael Girard has been a sugarmaker since 1961 when he   …Continue Reading 2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: March

2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: February posted on Feb 25

2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: February

  February’s contest winner was Amanda Bettle, who photographed sheep at The Natural Resources Trust of Easton.  This photo features Dog, a former 4-H show animal and sole male sheep among the nine ewes in the Natural Resources Trust of Easton (NRT) flock. It is the mission   …Continue Reading 2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: February

2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: January posted on Jan 26

2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: January

January’s contest winner was Renee Finnegan, who photographed a pensive Highland cow at Oak Meadows Farm & Garden in Rutland. Glenn and Mary Kauppila have been farming 100 acres of land in Rutland for approximately 15 years. With the help of their three adult children, they   …Continue Reading 2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: January