Narrow Lane Orchard in North Kingstown, RI
North Kingstown, RI
Open 10 to 5. Always call ahead to see if open
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North Kingstown, RI - It’s easy to think you’ve gone too far and missed the entrance to Narrow Lane Orchard, tucked away between stone walls on quiet Narrow Lane in North Kingstown. But eventually, you’ll see the cheerful red apple sign hanging out front that lets you know when the seven acres in back of the house are ready for picking. Following the driveway down to the orchard, you come to a small farmstand where you can purchase firewood, honey, flowers, and eggs, as well as pay for the empty bags that you’ll take with you out into the orchard to fill with delicious ripening apples, peaches, and nectarines.
One of the great thrills of visiting Narrow Lane Orchard is discovering all the heirloom varieties of fruit that they offer. The Greniers have diversified the orchard and extended the length of their pick-your-own season by growing fourteen kinds of peaches and twelve kinds of apples. Peach-pickers can choose from Garnett Beauty, Red Haven, Raritan Rose, Mountain Rose, Canadian Harmony, Belle of Georgia, Jersey Glo, J. H. Hale, White Hale, Bellaire, Redskin, Mt. Rose, Madison or Champion peaches. For apples, Honeycrisp, Redfree, Liberty, Hudson, Jonagold, Macintosh, Cortland, Macoun, Empire, Crispin, Fuji and Gala are available.
Visiting the orchard and sampling from each of the well-labeled rows of trees is a great way to discover new favorites, and the orchard staff is happy to explain which peaches and apples are best for cooking and which are best for eating. If you previously couldn’t tell the difference between a Jersey Glo and a Bellaire, you will be able to discuss the merits of each after spending time at Narrow Lane Orchard. Each heirloom has its own ripening schedule and peak season, so visitors in August will find an entirely different selection of apples when they return in October. It’s well worth visiting every week to see what’s new.
In addition to peaches and apples, which make up the majority of Narrow Lane Orchard’s seven-plus acres, nectarines, blackberries, and pumpkins are also available in season. Narrow Lane Orchard is best known as a pick-your-own operation, and rightfully so, as the neatly maintained rows, low-to –the-ground dwarf trees, and welcoming picnic spots make it an ideal fruit-or-berry-picking destination. However, they also often have fresh pre-picked fruit available for sale at their stand, and travel to farmer’s markets in Kent and Washington County six days a week with their produce.
As Steven and Sharon Grenier approach their eighth year of owning Narrow Lane Orchards, they continue to innovate and improve the orchard in response to customer demand. For instance, they chose to add blackberries for the 2012 season, and have already received a hugely positive response from farm visitors and shoppers at the farmer’s markets. The Greniers have also created a nature trail leading down to the orchard’s small pond so that visitors can see more of their farm, which contains several acres of preserved land that feel far away from the fast pace of nearby Route 95.
Narrow Lane Orchards is GAP-certified, meaning that they follow good agricultural practices to ensure food safety and a minimum of negative impact to the environment. When visiting, it’s not hard to see how intently dedicated the Greniers are to the upkeep of the orchard, and their hard work has made it a popular destination for families, clubs, school field trips, and more. Fruit-lovers throughout Rhode Island have reason to celebrate, thanks to the excellent selection and quality found at Narrow Lane Orchard.