Belkin: focused on experience

6 Sep

Today I visited Belkin Family Lookout Farm in Natick, MA. Only a short drive from Boston, Belkin resides on what feels like a country road, even though it’s only a few short miles from a flurry of suburban activity.


The long weekend was quiet at the farm/orchard. I suppose most people are still trying to enjoy their last weekend of summer. In any event, it was a warm and peaceful day to pick apples and I was lucky to share it with some close friends and their families.

The pumpkins are still growing, but Clint and Theo were really excited about this big one.



One of the unique aspects of Belkin Farm is the overall farm experience, and its family offering. After paying an admittance fee and grabbing a picking bag, you board a train that takes you to the day’s designating picking spots. Since it’s still so early in the apple-picking season, Belkin allowed its visitors to pick Gala apples, peaches and plums.




Our first stop was the Gala rows and we found an abundance of fruit to pick…and eat. Theo and Olive enjoyed the picking and eating!




We boarded the train again and headed to the “Play Area,” which included farm animals, a snack bar and playground.




After camel and pony rides, a short break for water and snacks, we boarded the train again pick some plums. The plums were a bit sour, but Olive found one that was sweet.


After the plums, we boarded the train one last time and headed back to the main barn at the entrance of the farm. The barn was full of treats and goodies to-be-expected at an orchard in the fall – jams, candies, homemade pies and kettle corn. Unfortunately we missed the apple cider donuts, which are only available on the weekends.



The main barn is also where you checkout and pay for the fruit you picked. I was pretty disappointed with this aspect of our visit. In my experience, you pay for a bag (which could constitute a “peck” or a larger fraction of a “bushel”). You are then free to pick what you want as long as you can carry it out. However, at Belkin, they charge you by the pound, $2.50/lb to be exact. This amounted to $9.00 for me and I only had eight apples in my bag. This seems pretty steep to me especially since you already pay an entrance fee.

Regardless, Belkin had a lot to offer (especially for families with small children), and the trip through the orchard on the train was a great way to tour around the farm.

Although I only picked a small amount of apples, I am eager to return home and bake an Apple Scone Cake. I have never baked with Gala before but with their natural sweetness, I think they will compliment the subtlety of a scone-like cake.

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