I don’t care if it’s not even quite spring yet! As long as it’s above 40F with sunny skies and no windchill, it’s time for beach combing. And if Crane Beach, up Argilla Road north of downtown Ispwich is you’re destination, one pastoral gem you simply can’t miss on your way is Russell Orchards.
Off a country road winding through farm fields and wooded glens only about 5 minutes from the Crane Beach entrance, you’ll see a wood shaked barn to your right and once inside, it’s apparent that this is the real deal…not some knock off built within the last decade to look like an antique barn. The post and beam frame is clearly hand hewn and the wooden floor boards are smoothed like only years of hard use can produce. Best of all, it’s still a working farm after opening their doors in 1920.
Here you can get all the fixins for a grand picnic. The shelves are lined with organic snacks, the coolers with seasonal fruit. Cheeses and locally baked breads abound. Cider donuts made fresh daily onsite along with their hard cider are classics. The crown jewel is their killer fruit wines, especially the strawberry rubarb…which is really like picking them
from the garden and bottling their essence! Tangy fresh picked berries and the just picked tang of rubbarb, this wine doesn’t make any apologies. A delicate floral aroma comes to a head as it hits the palate. Strong fresh strawberries. Ice it in your cooler for a couple hours and unapologetically drink out of plastic cups.