An autumnal tradition

To see a slideshow of a day at Russell Orchards, click on this image.

For some people in New England, apple picking is as essential to fall as foliage.

A trip to the orchard can be a family pastime. But the visit is often more than just a search for apples.

It’s a chance to gather pumpkins,  to enjoy a hay ride, and to be outside in the cool autumn air.

The appeals are manifold, but there is a single underlying attraction.

Several visitors to Russell Orchards in Ipswich, Mass. on the Saturday before Columbus Day spoke of an escape from the suburbs or the city. They described the country-charm of apple picking and a return to agricultural roots.

For Nora Horick, 35, of Newton, Mass., apple picking is not only a typical New England experience, but a family tradition. She visited Russell Orchards with her one-year-old daughter and five-year-old son.

“I like for them to know where the food comes from,” Horick said.

Roy Anderson, 81, of Missoula, Mont. said a trip to the orchard offers an almost exotic appeal for some families.

“Since many people have had no experience on farms, there’s a kind of mystique of being in the country,” he said.

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