Embracing the Splendor of Spring: A Celebration of Peach, Pear & Apple Blossoms

As winter’s chill fades away and the earth awakens from its slumber, there’s a magical transformation that takes place all around us. Spring bursts forth in a riot of color and fragrance, as trees adorned with delicate blossoms paint the landscape with hues of pink, white, and soft pastels. In this blog, we embark on a journey to celebrate the breathtaking beauty of peach, pear and apple blossoms, exploring the enchanting sights and views that herald the arrival of spring.  

Peach Blossoms: A Symphony of Color and Fragrance  

Peach Blossoms Expected to Bloom at Lyman Orchards: April 15th - April 28th.

Peach blossoms burst onto the scene with a riot of color and fragrance that delights the senses. From delicate shades of pink to vibrant hues of coral and peach, peach trees showcase nature’s vibrant palette in all its glory. As the blossoms unfurl in profusion, they create a dazzling display that is nothing short of breathtaking.  

The air is filled with the heady scent of blossoms, a sweet perfume that lingers in the breeze. Each blossom seems to glow with an inner light, radiating warmth and vitality that infuses the landscape with joy and vitality. It’s a scene that invites us to pause, to breathe deeply, and to revel in the beauty of the natural world.  

Pear Blossoms: A Vision of Elegance and Grace 

Pear Blossoms Expected to Bloom at Lyman Orchards: April 20th - April 29th.

Not to be outdone, pear blossoms bring their own unique charm to the springtime landscape. With their delicate white petals and subtle fragrance, pear trees exude an aura of elegance and grace. As the blossoms unfurl in cascading clusters, they create a soft, ethereal beauty that captivates the senses.  

One of the most enchanting sights is witnessing a pear orchard in full bloom at dawn. Driving by as the first light of morning bathes the landscape in a golden glow, the pear blossoms seem to shimmer and glow from within, casting a spell of enchantment upon all who behold them. It’s a moment of pure magic, a fleeting glimpse of the sublime beauty that graces the world in springtime.  

Apple Blossoms: Nature’s Painterly Masterpieces 

Apple Blossoms Expected to Bloom at Lyman Orchards: April 25th - May 4th.

Last but certainly not least, the arrival of apple blossoms signifies the beginning of spring’s grand spectacle. Picture-perfect clusters of delicate pink and white flowers adorn apple trees, creating a breathtaking tapestry of color against the backdrop of azure skies. As sunlight filters through the blossoms, casting a warm glow upon the landscape, it’s hard not to feel a sense of wonder and awe at nature’s artistry.  

Driving through an apple orchard in full bloom is an experience like no other. The air is filled with the sweet, intoxicating scent of the blossoms, and the gentle rustle of petals in the breeze creates a symphony of sound.  

In a world that often seems chaotic and uncertain, the arrival of spring and the blossoming of peach, pear, and apple trees remind us of the enduring power and beauty of nature. In their delicate petals and fragrant blooms, we find solace, inspiration, and hope for the future. So let us embrace the splendor of spring, and celebrate the pretty sights and views of peach, pear, and apple blossoms as a testament to the magic of the season.  

Shop Connecticut Made Products at the Apple Barrel Farm Market

The Apple Barrel Farm Market is committed to supporting Connecticut Made products and the businesses that make them. That's why you'll find a wide selection of products from Connecticut producers, farmers, and artisans all  year round. From specialty cheeses to grass-fed meats, homemade pasta to hearty soups, and seasonal produce to artisan breads - we stock our shelves with products that are the heart of our state's economic diversity.

Connecticut is filled with a delicious collection of confectioners, bread makers, cheese makers, and pasta makers who make artisan products with local ingredients—here are a few the Apple Barrel Farm Market is featuring this month:

Antico Ravioli, Meriden

Antico Ravioli

Brooklyn native Renato “Ronnie” Antico and his brother Frank have been making pasta for nearly 20 years. The Antico brothers carry a selection of authentic Italian specialties, including their most popular item - raviolis.  Like the name suggests, Antico Ravioli is old-school style - stuffed with Italian cheeses and meats.  Besides raviolis, Antico's makes manicotti, cavatelli and cannelloni at it's family-owned Italian market in Meriden.

Bureau's Sugarhouse Maple Kettle Korn, Old Lyme

bureaus maple kettle korn

The Bureau family has been maple sugaring for over five generations and upholds a reputation for great tasting maple syrup. While attending a local festival with their maple products, they stumbled upon a couple making kettle popcorn and immediately imagined themselves making kettle popcorn using their own maple sugar as the flavoring. Bureau's Sugarhouse Maple Kettle Korn is made using the finest select Gourmet popcorn. Their maple sugar gives Maple Kettle Korn a natural golden color and distinctive maple flavor. This enterprising family also developed their own Maple Sugar, Maple Jelly, Maple Cream, Maple Candy, and even their own Maple Vinegar made from scratch.

Chowder Pot of Hartford Lobster Bisque and New England Clam Chowder, Hartford

chowder pot soups

The Chowder Pot of Hartford has long been a destination for seafood lovers and people traveling from all over Connecticut as well as up and down the East Coast.  Made with fresh cream, local lobster and clams, and wholesome ingredients, Chowder Pot's Lobster Bisque and New England Clam Chowder is revered as some of the finest in New England!

Venice Bakery Stuffed Breads, Hamden


Family-owned for three generations, Venice Bakery of Hamden has been baking superior quality, preservative-free breads for over 80 years. Owner Bruno Castaldi is the third generation to operate the family business. Castaldi’s grandfather, Bruno Baldo, founded the bakery; his uncles John and Frank Baldo ran it until they retired several years ago. Venice Bakery offers over 25 varieties of stuffed breads, as well as biscotti, croutons, taralli (a kind of cracker), freselle (like a biscuit), and artisan breads.

Connecticut Made

Get a FREE taste of Connecticut Made products on Saturdays from 12-2pm at The Apple Barrel Farm Market!  Click here for more info.

For more Connecticut Made products, visit the Apple Barrel Farm Market located at 32 Reed's Gap Road, Middlefield, CT.  

Bumbleberry Pie-The Perfect Pie for the Indecisive Eater

The Lyman Orchards Bumbleberry Pie is anything but ordinary! No, it’s not a typo, bumbleberry is a real word but you won’t find “bumbleberries” at your local farm market!  That’s because they don’t exist! Bumbleberries are not a type of berry, but a made-up word used to describe a random mixture of berries. 

The two-crusted Bumbleberry Pie is essentially a mixed berry pie, made with several types of berries. Originating from the Maritime provinces of Canada, it’s sometimes referred to as the “kitchen sink” pie since additional ingredients are often added, such as rhubarb, apples, or currants.

Lyman Orchards’ version of Bumbleberry Pie is filled with a secret combination of fresh apples, cherries, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries. Together, the mixture makes for one extraordinary confection with a one-of-a-kind taste!

Bumbleberry Pie is perfect for indecisive eaters at your holiday table. Pick up a Bumbleberry Pie from the home of CT’s Best Pie-The Apple Barrel Farm Market!

Thanksgiving Dinner...Easy as Pie!

Well what do you know - November is here and so are all of those glorious Thanksgiving traditions that go along with the season!  There's family, football, parades, and of course the food, and more food.  That's where Lyman Orchards is coming in for an assist.

For starters, your Thanksgiving gathering wouldn't be complete without pick-ons and appetizers. No need to stress yourself out - it can be something as simple as cheese, crackers and sliced fruit! The Apple Barrel Farm Market has a wide selection of cheeses from local cheese makers, including Mystic Cheese, Arethusa Farm, Winterplace Farm & Creamery, and Cato Corner Farm. Pair with specialty crackers and a variety of thinly-sliced apples straight from our orchards!

And if you wish to slay the day with a smorgasbord of pre-game snacks, we have that covered to!  Choose from specialty chips, dips, sauces and snacks for all kinds of tastes.

And onto the main event!  We've put together a savory seasonal Thanksgiving dinner menu for your holiday gathering including roasted turkey breast, seasonal sides, and all of the trimmings - and of course our award-winning Lyman Orchards High-Top Apple Pie!   Place your order by Wednesday, November 16th at 6pm, choose a convenient pick up time for Wednesday, November 23rd and we'll have your Thanksgiving dinner ready and waiting for you at the Apple Barrel Farm Market!  All you need to do is reheat and serve! Fill out an order form or call your order in to The Apple Barrel Farm Market at 860-349-6000.

Need extra turkey or sides? We'll have plenty of heat-and-serve sides on hand at the Apple Barrel Farm Market ready to go! 

And of course the sweet spot of the day-Pie!  Take home Connecticut's best pie as voted by CT Magazine Readers.  From apple to pumpkin, blueberry, and bumbleberry, our locally fresh-baked pies never disappoint!  

Pop into our award-winning bakery for a peek at all of our freshly-baked delicacies!  Cookies, pastries, breads, and more.

So, if you're ready to jump into Thanksgiving dinner planning, check out the Lyman Orchards Apple Barrel Market, or click here for our Thanksgiving Dinner To Go menu and order form!

And the BEST PIE award goes to…. Lyman Orchards!


For all that know and love Lyman Orchards, and for anyone that hasn’t had the opportunity to visit yet, you can still get a “taste” of the farm by picking up the BEST PIE.  Obviously, we think it’s the Best Pie, but it is so exciting to have our opinion confirmed by the fine residents of CT in Connecticut Magazine’s reader’s poll 2022. 

Everyone who’s been to Lyman Orchards has their own favorite reason for visiting.  For some, it’s the fruit picking:  from Strawberries to Apples and every fruit in between, PYO fruits is why these day-farmers and fruit-lovers leave home.  For others it’s the entertainment:  the sunflower maze, corn maze, restaurants, musicians, festivals, and more, there’s something fun for everyone at Lyman Orchards.  Still, others are drawn to Lyman Orchards for the 36 holes of championship golf and unbeatable leagues and instruction.  And for many, it’s the Best Pie made by Lyman Orchards. 

Lyman Orchards isn’t known as “Connecticut’s Sweet Spot” for nothing.  The Bakery at the Apple Barrel Farm Market pumps out a delightful assortment of pies, breads, muffins, pastries, and apple cider donuts, and the enticing aroma of fresh-baked products wafts through the air all day, every day.  And although all our bakery products are good-for-your-soul tasty, our pies have stood out as a symbol of Lyman Orchards, something people in states near and far have enjoyed for decades.       

You may have questions about this prestigious BEST PIE award, and we have some answers!

WHO chose Lyman Orchards Pie to be the Best Pie?  The readers of Connecticut Magazine, that’s who! Our appreciation goes out to these readers and voters, we are delighted to have this honor!

WHAT makes a pie “the Best Pie”?   If this question could be answered with a recipe or a pie chart, then everyone would be making the Best Pie.  We have a feeling that it might be the dash of nature, the smidge of nostalgia, and the pinch of love that is included in every Lyman Orchards pie that sets it apart from the rest.    

WHEN should I serve the Best Pie?  Your earliest option could be breakfast – our pies do contain fruit, after all.  A more common time would be for dessert, after lunch or dinner, of course.  But there’s no reason to stop there.  How about brunch or after school or as a bedtime snack?  And what about for book club, or after playing cards with friends, or on game day?  The Best Pie can be an awesome delight any time of any day, and even makes a great gift!      

WHERE can I get my hands on the Best Pie?  So many places!  The Best Pie is available in the Apple Barrel Farm Market at Lyman Orchards, fresh-cooked on-premises and ready to serve for dessert right after dinner.  You can even purchase the Best Pie frozen so that it can be stored in your freezer and then cooked in your own home oven for that fresh-baked taste at your convenience.  Not near the Apple Barrel Farm Market?  Luckily the Best Pie is also carried at your local Big Y and D’AG NYC grocery stores, for your convenience.  Lyman Orchards pies also make unique and successful fundraising items, so if you’re lucky, you may be approached to support a charitable organization with the purchase of the Best Pie – that’s a win-win!   

WHY should I purchase the Best Pie?  If you’re going to have pie, why settle for less than the best?    

WHICH Lyman Orchards pie is the Best Pie?  There’s only one person that can answer this one for you – and that’s YOU trying them all!  Here is a listing of our current offerings to get you started:

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie:  Enjoy a taste of summer anytime with sweet juicy strawberries and tart red rhubarb.

Bumbleberry Pie: If you can’t choose between apples, cherries, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries, then this pie is for you – it has them all!

Hi-Top Red, White & Blue Pie: You’ll love this patriotic blend of cherries, apples, and blueberries.

Cherry Pie: No need to cut down a cherry tree to enjoy this sweet and tart treat.

Apple Crumb Pie: If apple pie and apple crisp had a baby, it would be this pie. Take your pie-eating up a notch with cinnamon crumb topping.

Blueberry Pie: Hidden between two crusts is the perfect blend of wild and cultivated blueberries.

Hi-Top Apple Pie: From a generations-old recipe, this pie is loaded with two pounds of apples and is as American as apple pie.

We can’t wait to share the ultimate comfort food with you.  Thank you again for selecting Lyman Orchards as having the BEST PIE in CT!    

Apple Cider - A New England Tradition

When it comes to Apple Cider, New England is the Master of the Mills. Learn why cider packs more nutrition, flavor, and nostalgia than your standard apple juice.

It doesn't get much better than hand-picking apples at a New England orchard during the fall, except maybe savoring a cup of fresh apple cider. Besides its rich history in Colonial America, apple cider goes a long way in taste, health benefits, and fall traditions. 

Fall Traditions

What's fall without cider?  This New England staple is a seasonal favorite-traditionally served throughout apple-picking months, at Halloween, at Thanksgiving, and well into the winter holidays.  Apple cider can be enjoyed cold, or heated and mulled-mixed with spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.  Whichever way you like it, there's no separating cider from the season!


History of Cider in New England

Cider literally was a staple for early settlers in New England. Just a few years after arriving at Plymouth Rock in 1620, colonists began to plant apple trees. Apples were a good source of food and beverage-the Pilgrims stored the apples and brewed cider to help them through the harsh New England winters. Back then, all cider was "hard" and not the sweet, non-alcoholic version we find in farm markets. Hard cider is created by fermenting pressed apple juice-a process used to preserve the beverage longer.

As history would have it, cider became the most common beverage in New England.  This fizzy, fermented version of apple juice was simple to make, kept longer than milk, and safer to drink than water. Early settlers even brewed a low-alcholic version for their children, known as "ciderkin", by steeping their apple mash and pressing it for a second time.

What's the Difference between Apple Cider and Apple Juice?

Apple cider and apple juice have one thing in common-they're both beverages made from fresh-squeezed apples.  

The key difference between the two-cider is apple juice that hasn't undergone the filtration process of removing particles, pulp or sediment.  Apple juice is filtrated to remove solids and then heated to kill bacteria.  Some apple ciders, such as Lyman Orchards Apple Cider, are also pasteurized to extend the shelf life. The result-cider is more opaque than apple juice due to apple particles in suspension and is typically tangier than processed apple juice.

Health Benefits of Apple Cider

Since apple cider isn't filtered, it retains many of the same nutrients as fresh apples and has more polyphenols than apple juice.  Polyphenols are antioxidants that can lower the risks for certain health conditions.  Here are some of the potential health benefits of apple cider:

What Types of Apples are used to make Cider?

Traditional cider is typically made by blending several varieties of apples to give it a balanced taste. McIntosh, Braeburn, and Cortland apples are especially noteworthy for their acidic, tart flavor, while Fuji, Cortland, Gala and Red Delicious apples provide a sweeter taste.  Since New England orchards grow multiple varieties, it's possible to create a consistent mix throughtout the year. 

The flavor of the cider also reflects the seasons.  In September and October the cider tends to be tart as the predominant apples that are squeezed are tarter and have more bite to them.  Moving into November and December, the cider is sweeter.

Lyman Orchards Fresh Apple Cider

Lyman Orchards Fresh Apple Cider is pasteurized and contains no preservatives.  In fact, the ingredient list is as clean as it gets-100% Apple Juice. Lyman Orchards cider is available for purchase at the Apple Barrel Farm Market in gallon, half gallon and pint sizes. In the fall, we offer straight Gala or Honeycrisp blends available in 1/2 gallons. You'll also find freshly-baked apple cider donuts and donut holes in our award-winning bakery! For information on pick-your-own apples, please visit lymanorchards.com/pick-your-own/apples.