Smolak Farms of North Andover, Massachusetts combines agriculture, education, and entertainment in a very special way. The land was carved by glaciers, settled by prehistoric Indian tribes, colonized by English settlers and now farmed by the product of the wave of European Immigrants. Parts of the historic homestead are about 300 years old. Today the descendants of Martin and Magdalenna Smolak and their son and daughter-in-law, Henry and Helen Smolak, continue to farm one of the most progressive and beautiful farms nestled in the hills of northeastern Massachusetts. In 1982 the Smolak Family preserved 107 of the 160 acres in cooperation with the State of Massachusetts Agricultural Preservation Restriction Program, insuring that this area would forever remain open land, never to be developed. For the past 35 plus years, H. Michael Smolak, grandson of Martin Smolak, has overseen the development of the farm from a dairy farm to the extraordinary farm that it has now become.
Farm Stand and Greenhouse:
The Farm Stand was opened in 1985 on the site of an old chicken coop that was built by Michael Smolak's grandfather. The wood that was used in this and all other buildings was from trees that came from the farm and were milled by the Farnum Sawmill on Farnum Street and the Adams Sawmill that was on Milk Street near the Drummond Playground in North Andover. The farm stand was originally used as a garage for their trucks and for storage. There was a pasture behind the stand and a shelter attached to the back for cows that were pregnant with calves. Mrs. Smolak had a flower garden on the side of the Farm Stand that is now a parking area. The Smolak Farm Bakery began in 1985. With the request for pies and muffins, the baking began and launched into what people from all over New England travel for...our cider donuts! The Greenhouse was built in 1992 as an extension to the stand, for growing a few plants, and for sitting and relaxing with a cup of coffee and a delicious treat from our bakery. In 2004, the Smolaks added an ice cream stand, called S'mo Licks, to the farm stand. In 2007, Treadwells took over the ice cream stand and now window customers, as well as Smolak Farms birthday party guests, can be seen enjoying a cool ice cream on a sunny day!
Today, visitors come to pick fruit from our orchards and shop at the farm stand and bakery. Children can go on one of the many types of educational or entertaining hayrides, have a birthday party, attend our summer programs and visit the animals. Families come to our festivals from metropolitan Boston and beyond throughout the year. Our pine grove area and site on Orchard Hill are the perfect place for a function. Mostly, people come to relax and enjoy the beauty of the land and nature!
Parking was an adventure. I don't want to ruin the fun so I'll leave it at that. Long lines at all the food stands but the staff was friendly and moved the lines pretty quickly. Then my daughter and I discovered a covered seating area near the animals that was serving hot pizza and burgers grilled right there and there was no line at all. We walked around and saw the animals that they have there and fed some of them. They have Llamas, Alpacos, deer and pigs to name some. You couldn't pet them or feed certain ones but they all looked well fed, healthy and happy! There's 2 Orchids here. One is on the same property and offers Antique Apples the other Orchard is across the street, the entrance is more to the right of the orchard if you're facing it. We will be returning to pick Apple's but did leave with a pack of their Apple cider donuts that are pretty good for a sweet treat. All in all it wasn't bad for my first visit.
I used Smolack Farms to create caramel apples for my daughter‘s wedding. We were using them as placesetting/favors. The reason I chose them was because of their description of their apples. We were told they would be “beautifully wrapped in raffia, and ready to go”! When I arrived to pick up the apples so that I could drop them at the venue the day before the wedding, I was shocked to see that they were haphazardly thrown in shopping bags, not wrapped but tied at the top with Red and white striped bread ties. Also, At least 1/3 of the apples had ripped through the cellophane due to the careless wrapping, and the way they were thrown in shopping bags for transport. My daughter and I had to run to Michael’s to buy ribbon and cellophane bags, and spent well over an hour re-wrapping them. It was then that we noticed they had shorted us by 11 apples. I immediately called when I noticed. Long story short, I paid $488 for 110 caramel apples. I had to re-wrap every single one of them, several of them looked like they had been made with very little care, and when I called to speak to someone I was told “well we were very busy”. They did deliver the missing apples to the venue the following day, and after the wedding I wrote a lengthy email to the bakery and the main office about my disappointment. They did not even bother to respond. Customer service here is lacking, and I would be very careful using them for anything for your special day!
Random variety of apples. You really need to know what you want. By the time you find it the trees will be empty. It us quite expensive 1/2 bushel (24 lbs) for $40 is about $1.5 per pound. You may get better deal somw here else. Apple files are tiny. Parking crowded. I would not go there again. Feels like expensive private park.
Go on a rainy day to avoid the crowds!! Lots of heirloom varieties of apples, cute deer to feed, and a nice pumpkin patch to boot!! The store sells all sorts of quentecential fall goodies: cider donuts, maple syrup, ready-to-bake pies. Makes for a fun outing for adults and children alike.
I do like Smolak farms, I think it's a good place to visit with younger kids. Visited this weekend for Apple picking, but I couldn't bring myself to give a 4 or 5 rating after comparing my experience with other farms we've gone too. But we certainly would visit Smolak again!