Monday, October 13, 2008

Apple Picking

Yesterday we decided to go apple picking. We drove over to my parents and hung out with the little sis on her weekend home from College. We waited for the Wild Man and his parents to arrive and we set off caravan style for the boundless orchards of Dr. Davies Farm.

As soon as we turned the corner to the farm. I knew we were in for trouble. Cars lined both sides of the street, and this is not some small dirt road in the country, this is a double lined highway road. The mass of humanity was everywhere. We drove by some spaces on the shoulder but my husband decided to go all the way to where the cars stopped and then he turned around. Again, I know sometimes I don't give him the benefit of the doubt, but his idea to drop us off at the actual entrance was a great one--considering that there were two spaces in the actual parking lot.

The Lady and the Wild Man: 1
Mass of Humanity: 0

The Lady and The Wild Man Go to Town

The Lady and her Parents
So we lugged the babes (x2), two cameras, a backpack, the stroller and the diaper bag out of the cars and went to pick some apples.
Dr. Davies must be making a fortune. It cost $29 for 1/2 bushel of apples. We got 1 bushel to share then had to wait on line for the poles. The line for the poles wasn't moving too quickly and we had to get out of the way of the tractor pulling the hayride customers down the same path. The Lady wanted nothing to do with waiting and instead insisted on picking up rocks, grabbing my hand and walking me in the exact opposite direction of where we needed to go before taking a face plant in bushel of hay.
Now, my husband is pretty tall and we debated actually needing a pole to get the apples down. We sent him and the Wild Man's dad ahead into the orchard to check out the situation. Unless we were picking up the apples on the ground a pole was needed. This is where good old fashioned capitalism came into play. You had to put down a dollar deposit for a pole. The Wild Man's dad paid a guy on his way out of the orchard five bucks for two poles.
The Lady and the Wild Man: 2
Mass of Humanity: 0
So we cut ahead of the line and made our way into the orchard. There is a ton of land on this orchard but apparently they only pick certain trees on certain days. What a tease. An entire orchard was roped off and they had workers patrolling the border like some West Texas town. We planted the Lady and the Wild Man down where they were least likely to be trampled by the human element and least likely to be concussed by a falling apple. They couldn't have been any happier just munching away on apples.
My husband and the Wild Man's dad did most of the heavy picking. My little sis switched off with baby holding and throwing apples into the bag. What I found so interesting was that everyone was there for the same reason; a little fall fun in the sun--did I mention it was like 75 degrees and the stench of fermenting apples started to overpower pretty quickly--and some time with their family. The need to get to certain trees though was like some sort of power trip. People were trampling around, swinging giant poles in all directions with absolutely no regard for the people around them. It was like, if they didn't get to the trees first they wouldn't be leaving with any apples at all. We tried to take advantage too. I will admit to stuffing some apples in the backpack--hey for 29 bucks I better be getting some serious apples--and staking out a tree or two so that we could gather our crop. When we finally left the orchard, sticky from trying to pry away the apples from the babes we had plenty of apples and our fill of family time.
As we dropped off the poles we realized that they weren't letting anybody else into the orchard. The stampede of people was just too much for it to bear. I felt bad for all those people who were still trying to find a spot on the shoulder of the road and who had planned a family day at the Farm, but I felt even better that we came, we picked and we conquered.
The Lady and the Wild Man: 3
Mass of Humanity: 0
We split the bounty and I made two batches of applesauce (the first one burnt, definitley use medium heat!) and an apple pie. I still have a ton of apples left and am frantically perusing all my recipes for anything apple. Share one if you have one and enjoy the fall fun.
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