Pathway Through Boston
An Autumn Escape Into Classic New England
Published: Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01
As the school year kicks off, everyone’s kept more than a little busy with their crammed schedules, syllabi, and onslaught of new responsibilities for the year. It is, however, still important to remember that these are the best years of our lives and we should be enjoying them to the fullest. So, before you let yourself get overwhelmed by that 10-pager, consider going on a fall adventure to the apple orchards.
Autumn weather means a lot of things—the cardigans start coming out, the foliage along Linden Lane becomes breathtaking, and apples are ripe and waiting to be picked. As Boston College students, we are reminded time and time again how important it is to get away from the “bubble,” and go forth into the world. Then again, for those of us without cars on campus (read: the majority of the student population, thanks to the facts that parking spaces can be harder to come across than a spot in the Disney class), it can seem extra daunting. Luckily for us, we have access to multiple forms of public transportation! With a little effort, BC students can enjoy the sweetest part of fall.
New England boasts tons of orchards, and finding the nearest one is just a Google search away. From there, you have a couple of options. Getting to a quality orchard using public transportation can be tricky, so consider taking advantage of services like ZipCar. Visit www.zipcar.com for more information and to fill out an online application in order to receive your very own ZipCard. For $75 (a $25 one-time application fee and a $50 annual fee), and a driving rate as low as $69 a day, you can have access to a car as often as you like. When you split the cost among yourself and a few friends, it’s not so bad at all. The other option, which leaves you slightly limited as to which orchards you can realistically reach, is to take the commuter rail. The South Acton stop on the Fitchburg line is just a few miles from Shelburne Farm in Stow. Consider bringing bikes along if you’re feeling particularly ambitious!
Shelburne Farm is known for their delicious cider donuts, always served fresh and piping hot. The cider is also phenomenal, as is to be expected in Massachusetts. They open at 9 a.m. and close at 6 p.m.—if you’re going on a weekend, make sure you get there on the early side so you can avoid the rush. Their website, www.shelburnefarm.com, is easy to navigate and includes a detailed picking schedule. For $17, you can bring home one peck, or 10 pounds, of apples. A half-bushel, or about 20 pounds, will run you around $25. Never fear, they do accept credit cards—Visa, MasterCard, and AMEX. They also offer hay rides ($2 per person) and pony rides ($5). Pumpkin picking is also available, going for $0.60 a pound—perfect as the Halloween season approaches. Bring a little—or big—one back home to brighten up any residence hall. Another fun adventure, for those of you with your own apartments, or larger suites, is Shelburne Farm’s cut-your-own Christmas tree offerings. Make sure to check the website or call well in advance, starting around the Thanksgiving season, to see if it will be offered this year.
When you return on campus with your bushels, beg your upperclassman friend to let you use their kitchen—chances are, they won’t turn down the opportunity for some free pie.