Brookfield…stands the test of time

19 Sep

I thought a lot about writing this review leading up to my visit to Brookfield Orchards this past weekend. I knew going-in that this is my favorite orchard so how was I going to look at this place with a critical lense and an unbiased perspective?

I decided that the best approach is to try and review all of the elements that I have evaluated during my other orchard visits and see how Brookfield measures up. Not surprisingly, the result is a break down of what makes this orchard so great, year-after-year. Here we go!

1. Layout

It’s all in one place. Parking, picking fields, country store, antique shopping, and lunch. Although we had a bit of trouble yesterday because it was so busy, Brookfield is easy to navigate.

2. Cost

Compared to the other orchards I’ve been so far, Brookfield has been the least expensive. $10 1/2 peck; $19 a bushel.

The staff were also friendly and informative. Marty has been working at Brookfield for 44 years! He also just wrote his second book. Check it out!

3. Country Store and Barn

The offering at Brookfield’s store is unmatched. I have to say, if one more person tells me that I need to go to such-and-such an orchard because of their cider donuts I’m going to scream. News brief, most orchards have these types of baked goods. In fact, most orchards have donuts, pies and breads. Brookfield, however, not only has all of those goodies in their bakery, but you can buy them cooked, buy them assembled & ready-to-bake, OR buy them to eat at their snack stand.

Brookfield dumplings. They literally bake them in front of you, package them, and hand them to you to take home. Delicious.

You can also see Brookfield’s operations in action. From making pies…

To sorting apples…

Separate from the store & bakery is the barn, which has packaged jams and relishes, candles, dried flowers, AND a five and dime candy store.

4. Fall Experience

For those who love to pick through old antiques, maps and knicknacks, Brookfield has some good wares. Erin and Raquel get something every year. [I bought an old apple trivet.]

At the snack bar, you can grab lunch or snacks, like kettle corn.

5. The Grounds

Brookfield’s rows allow you to spread out to do your picking. Several places I’ve been you are surrounded by other people. Even though Brookfield was busy yesterday, we were still able to find our own spot to pick.

Most farms have a place for kids to run around, swing and slide. At Brookfield, there is tree-climbing s well.

Having been to several orchards already this season, the Cortlands at Brookfield seemed gigantic!

…and delicious.

After leaving Brookfield, we found a nearby garden center (Bemis Farm Nursery) and bought pumpkins and flower bulbs. The nursery was hosting a charity event called Scarecrow Solutions, which is a scarecrow-making workshop where all the proceeds go to charity…pretty cool.

All-in-all, I’m not sure how convincing of a case I’ve made for Brookfield Orchards. I think the place you have picked apples year-after-year will always hold special meaning. However, personal nostalgia aside, I think that Brookfield is unique in the fact that it provides the complete fall experience. Once again, I had a great day at Brookfield and it ended by making some delicious apple oatmeal muffins.


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