100 varieties (and that is only counting apples)
At the orchard store, you can taste and buy a variety of fruit, some not available anywhere else in the region. More than 100 varieties of apples are grown at the orchard, with 18 varieties produced in quantity. Each time you visit the store you may see new kinds of fruit for sale.
Apple varieties range from "antiques" like Baldwins and Golden Russets to standards like Macs and Golden Delicious, and new varieties like Ginger Golds and Akanes. The Akane (a-kane-y) is and apple introduced by the Japanese, who value flavor over other factors like ease of production and shipping. Other interesting apples grown at the UMass Cold Spring Orchard include Shamrocks (guess what color?), and Winter Bananas (they actually smell like bananas). You won’t see Winter Bananas in stores, because they bruise easily and can’t take the treatment of shipping and store handling. Here, they only need to be gently carried down the hill.
The store also sells peaches, nectarines, pears, blueberries, sunflowers, and eight varieties of pumpkins, including white Luminas, and Cinderellas (said to resemble the storybook carriage). Orchard-made jams and jellies are for sale too, and include strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, blackberry, sour cherry, grape, and peach.
At the University of Massachusetts Cold Spring Orchard, we use the most environmentally friendly pest-management approaches available. Whenever possible non-chemical methods are used to reduce insect populations and control weeds. The orchard also applies calcium to apples and peaches while they are growing, helping the fruit stay fresh in storage and reducing the incidence of postharvest diseases. The calcium also supplies a nutritional bonus to those who consume the apples and peaches.
In the pick-your-own areas of the orchard, special care is taken to reduce the level of pesticide spraying and to use non-chemical alternatives even when they cost more.