When You Can Pick-Your-Own at Mack's Apples

A family legacy - The Macks have been growing apples for generations



It was almost 300 years ago — 281 to be exact — that John Mack left Londonderry, Ireland, to settle in Londonderry, NH, with his wife Isabella. He would farm the land, growing potatoes and other crops.

He couldn't have known, of course, but the farm would become a rarity — one that survived into the 21st century, being handed down through eight generations of the Mack family.

"I'm very proud of the heritage and history of the farm," says Andy Mack Sr., family patriarch and a direct descendant of John.

In the mid-1800s, Andy says, the family began to concentrate on growing apples: "My grandfather started growing apple trees for both himself and other people. They'd pay $1 a tree for him to grow the tree for them. A lot of the orchards got started that way."

Today Moose Hill Orchards (so named, as legend has it, because a Mack ancestor bagged a moose on the hill) is home to a thriving business, Mack's Apples. Apple trees occupy 100 acres of the 350-acre farm (it was 400 acres until recently when the family donated 50 acres to the town for a school), and there are also pumpkins, pears, peaches and squash. The apples, pumpkins and other produce are sold at the farmstand on Mammoth Road, along with lots of local products.

For more information about U-Pick and other "agri-activities" at Mack's Apples, visit macksapples.com.
PHOTO BY ANDY MACK JR.

If you like pick-your-own, you're in luck. Mack's has 12 separate orchards, each with a variety of apples and many with a pumpkin patch nearby.

Andy says customers favor the Honeycrisp and Mutsu varieties, with the more traditional McIntosh and Red Delicious not far behind. His favorite? "The Macoun. It's been around for a long time. When it's perfect, it's unbeatable."

It appears the pleasure of picking apples at Mack's on an crisp autumn day will continue into the future. All but 28 acres of the farm, which is located in the center of Londonderry, is now preserved with conservation easements bought by the town. That means no development will take place on it — only farming and forestry are allowed.

Harvest Dates

Picking time for apples depends a lot on the weather, but here are this year's harvest dates for the varieties that Mack's Apples produces.

  • Jersey Mac, Tydeman and Paula Red: August 14
  • Ginger Gold, Burgundy: August 30
  • Jonamac, McIntosh: September 7
  • Gala: September 15
  • Honeycrisp: September 20
  • Cortland: September 25
  • Empire, Macoun: September 28
  • Red Delicious, Jonagold: October 10
  • Mutsu, Golden Delicious: October 15
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Popular Articles

  1. New Boston's Historic Fourth of July Celebration
    New Boston, New Hampshire, loves the Fourth of July so much the whole town turns out for the...
  2. Building on Hope's 2018 Project
    Local nonprofit group Building on Hope brings new life to the Crisis Center of Central New...
  3. Best of NH 2018 This & That
    Not all of New Hampshire's best things fit neatly into categories. Here are our Editor's Picks...
  4. Best of NH 2018 Breweries, Wine, Spirits, Cocktails & Bars
    Don't just eat local, drink local! Where to find the best New Hampshire beer, wine, spirits,...
  5. Walpole's New Farmer-Owned Diner
    It doesn't get much more local than this. The Hungry Diner is an extension of Walpole Valley...
  6. Best of NH 2018 Shops & Services
    Think of this as the ultimate guide to retail therapy. Plus, get excellent recommendations for...
  7. Best of NH 2018 Arts & Culture
    Listen to music while taking in gorgeous views, see an independent film, take in a public art...
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags