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A little about Carlson Orchards

Carlson Orchards was founded in 1936 by Walter and Eleanor Carlson. In the thirties and forties, they made their living from a diversified farm of chickens, cows, potatoes and apples. In the late sixties, the farm specialized in fruits with apples being the main crop. The Carlsons are dedicated to growing the best tree fruits, blueberries, raspberries, and pumpkins as well as producing the best tasting apple cider available anywhere.

Carlson Orchards now grows fruit on 140 acres

  • 60,000 bushels of apples

  • 5,000 baskets of peaches and nectarines

  • Over 500,000 gallons of apple cider annually.

Flash pasteurization of our cider enables us to continue to produce and sell the highest quality of apple cider. Our products are sold and distributed by us throughout New England to farmstands, wholesalers, and major chainstore super markets such as Wholefoods, Shaw's, Star Markets, Foodmaster, Donelans, and others. 

Today Bruce, Frank and Robert Carlson, the three proud sons of Walter & Eleanor, are dedicated to maintaining their family's fine reputation and the great tradition of high quality apple and apple products that was born over 63 years ago.


Massachusetts Cap and Trade Helps Carlson Orchards Go Solar
August 18, 2010 | Susan Kraemer

One of the largest orchards in Massachusetts has just cut its utility bill 80% with a $1.1 million 220 KW solar power plant. The state of Massachusetts helped Carlson Orchards with grants totaling $595,000 to help in the installation of the 1,050 solar photovoltaic panels.

Massachusetts earns money to invest in renewable energy with cap and trade auctions as a participating member of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).

RGGI  is a 10-state cap and trade program that caps emissions from 233 power plants from Maine to Maryland. It has generated $433 million for renewable investments in the 10 participating states.

RGGI earnings help Massachusetts reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by taking big energy users like the orchard off the dirty fossil grid. So far Massachusetts has earned $106 million in RGGI auctions.

But getting the grant wasn’t easy. It took a professional “green” project manager eight months of researching and fulfilling the arduous grant application process required.

Carlson Orchards uses 400,000 kilowatt hours a year, mostly for refrigeration. Last year the farm spent $80,000 last year on electricity. Now the 220 KW solar plant in the orchard supplies most of its energy (80%) or 320,000 kilowatt hours a year. Only 20% of the farm’s needs is now supplied from the dirty grid.

Massachusetts is one of the members of RGGI, found by Environment America to be close to meeting Kyoto requirements.  The state is one of 4 RGGI participants to have reduced its greenhouse gases to below 1990 levels.

This is an example of how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Take money from pollution and use it to make clean energy instead. The very green state is one of the best places for renewable energy support for both homeowners and businesses, according to Solar Power Rocks!

The state disbursed the grants through through the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (CEC) ($565,000)  and the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources ($30,000). The USDA National Conservation Resource Services also chipped in $287,000 in Federal Recovery Act funding set aside for agricultural renewable energy efficiency projects.

The 1,050 solar panels in the array were purchased from Massachusetts own Evergreen Solar, Inc. Local solar installation company Lighthouse Electrical Contracting designed and installed the project and Massachusetts-based inverter giant Solectria Renewables supplied the inverters. Only the ground mount racks were from out of state. New Mexico company DPW Solar Corporation built them.

Begun in the 1930′s, Carlson Orchards started with chickens, cows, potatoes and apples. In the late sixties, the farm specialized in fruit, mainly apples. As well as making apple cider, the farm grows blueberries, raspberries, and pumpkins as well.

And on the side, now it’s growing a healthy future climate for future farmers.


We love our orchards and know you will too.
We regret that we cannot allow animals into the orchard.
Please visit us soon and remember to eat fruit at least five times daily!

Bring Home the Good Life!


For information about what crop is available and when, please visit our Growing Schedule.


Carlson Orchards | Harvard Massachusetts
115 Oak Hill Road, Harvard MA 01451
[P] 800.286.3916  [E] info@carlsonorchards.com

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Carlson Orchards, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer