I was asked to follow up a post I made about seasonal food to this board.
I guess at least someone shares my interest in good, old fashioned apples like Roxbury Russets. Specifically, I was asked where I get them.
The closest orchard to Boston that I keep in mind is Honey Pot Hill Farm in Stow, which is a reliable producer of wonderful old (and new) apples (and pears, though the USDA New England crop report forecasts a poor showing for pears in this region this year), like Russett, Baldwins, Stayman Winesaps, etc. They don't always put the Russets out in November; you usually have to ask for them. Call ahead during season for varieties and timetables. Great place.
Another great place is Red Apple Farm in Phillipston, off Route 2. It's a bit of a haul, but they are worth the drive.
Both places have websites.
They are not alone in offering old apple varieties; they are just the easiest places that I keep in mind in my autumn rambles. But they are worth contacting if you are looking for something special, and if they don't have it, they probably know if another orchard does.
And make a point of patronizing and thanking these places for keeping these old varieties around. It would probably be more profitable for them to replace the trees with more modern and popular varieties, except that the old varieties are irreplaceable in making the finest ciders. Remember, historically, apples (and pears -- the cider from which is called perry) in America were for making cider (which always went hard in the pre-refrigeration era) more than for eating. And cider was the most common drink until beer overtook it a century or so ago. Reclaim our heritage!