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

 

 

Calendar

Popular Articles

  1. Is This the Oldest Known UFO Photo? One NH Researcher Finds Out
    Ryan Mullahy, a UFO writer and researcher, set out to either verify or discredit the photo.
  2. A Close Encounter With Betty Hill
    In time for the Exeter UFO Festival happening at the end this month (August 30), David Mendelsohn...
  3. Best of NH 2014 Arts, Culture & People
    Discover new local bands, art galleries, music and performing arts venues and much more in this...
  4. Get Inspired With 10 Stories of Fitness and Weight Loss
    In the quest for health, weight loss or physical transformation, half the battle is getting...
  5. Brave Hurt: How NOT to Win the New Hampshire Highland Games
    Ever wanted to try your hand at tossing a caber or hurling a haggis? Our man on the scene Kevin...
  6. Late Summer Weekend Trip to Newfound Lake
    Those lazy days of late summer are perfect for a weekend of exploring New Hampshire’s secret lake
  7. Designing With Tile
    How to add style to the functional areas of your home with decorative tile.