Apple-picking season is well under way on the South Shore.Autumn adventure: Families take a bite out of apple picking at C.N. Smith Farm in East Bridgewater
EAST BRIDGEWATER — The sun is still shining as autumn comes into full swing with pick-your-own apples ramping up over at C. N. Smith Farm in East Bridgewater.
Some kids shout with joy as they reach for the biggest apples they can find among the roughly 130 acres of apple trees.
“Oh my God, I found a good one,” a young boy said as he plucked an apple off of a tree.
Due to the coronavirus, reservations must be made in advance online to visit the farm, where you can find pick-you-own apples as well as indulge in cider doughnuts, fresh fruits and vegetables, and mums over at the farm stand.
Pick Your Own is offered from 9 a..m to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays. A 10-pound bag can be purchased for $30 and gets three people into the orchard, and a 20-pound bag can be bought for $45 and allows for five people to enter the orchard.
Visitors to the orchard should look out for the dirt road with pick-your-own apples signage off South Street, which is separate from the farm stand entrance. On the way out of the orchard, visitors will pass by the stand and can stop to purchase extra apples, doughnuts, or various garden plants from the garden center.
The farm offers pick-your-own blueberries, strawberries, and peaches over the summer, owner Christian Smith said, which allowed them to figure out what works for them ahead of time in terms of capacity.
“So we were able to kind of fine tune the pick-your-own and how many people we like to have come at one time that we can manage well,” Smith said, “So we were able to start small and work up to what would be an acceptable amount for us and for the customers.”
On Sunday, families filled the farm, armed with apple-picking bags, little red wagons, and cameras for some good old-fashioned family fun.
Jennifer Tarmy was visiting the farm from Braintree with her kids, Chris, 9, and Ella, 6, and her husband Jay. The family has come to C. N. Smith Farm for a few years now.
“We always try to come apple picking at least once a season,” Tarmy said. “It’s a little more difficult now because you have to make reservations so we made our plans ahead of time.”
While visitors are told not to sample the apples in the orchard, as they must keep their masks on at all times, they are allowed to bring the apples back to their cars to eat them.
Upon entering the orchard, employees of the farm instruct customers on what a full versus overpicked bag looks like, and then after exiting the orchard an employee marks the filled up bags.
Apple picking will end around the end of October, but until then, visitors can find apples of all varieties, depending on when in the season they visit, including McIntosh, Cortland, Honeycrisp, Granny Smith and Fuji.
Josh Randall, whose cousins own the farm, was walking through the orchard on Sunday, as he helps out at the farm in October and during apple-picking season, he said.
“People have been very patient with us in response to the issues that have been going on here,” Randall said referring to the restrictions in place due to COVID-19. “But more so people are willing to wear their masks when they should and social distance, so that’s exactly what we’re looking for here and it’s creating a good atmosphere and [for a] small business here.”
Randall said that business has been booming, despite the limitations. While it’s different this year, they are keeping up with the demand, he said.