Monday, October 25, 2010

Apple Picking

I've always wanted to go apple-picking.  I never did much fruit-picking growing up.  It wasn't something my family did, though we did enjoy an afternoon of strawberry-picking with friends the summer I was 14.  Still, that one experience didn't convince my parents that it should become a yearly ritual. 

When I got married, I hoped it would be something John and I would do together.  John was all for the idea and we eagerly anticipated loads of fresh self-picked fruit all summer long, and maybe even learning how to can jellies and preserves.  And then morning sickness set in.  My PGP put a stop to our plans the next year...and the next one, too.  This year was better.  Not a whole lot better, but enough to give it a shot.  It was kind of a last minute decision, after picking up fresh veggies.  We decided that if the produce was cheap enough this week, we'd take the extra money to a nearby orchard to pick our own apples.

John ran in with my list in hand, and bought 2 large heads of cabbage, 3 bags of carrots, celery, 5 lbs of sweet potatoes, 3lbs of green peppers, 2 large bunches of grapes, a bag of oranges, 3 large zuchinnis and 3 romaine hearts for $15.  We could definitely squeeze out enough money for apples.  I love the price of produce here.  The grocery store prices can add up quickly, but farmer's markets, produce stands, the Italian market...they all help keep the cost down significantly. 

So we arrived at the orchard and were given a large cardboard box and a wagon to haul our goods.  The man in charge told us we'd have to walk way out, as the pickings were slim, and my heart sank.  The ground was uneven and "way out" really WAS waaay out.  I couldn't even see the end of the orchard.  John looked at me and I nodded my head.  I'd give it a shot.

Within 10 ft we found our first apple.  Joshua picked it and threw it in the box with great enthusiasm...I can identify that apple by the large bruise it now bears.  We showed him how to be gentle, and continue along our merry way, Joshua and John sharing the duty of wagon-hauler. 

    (last minute decisions usually mean I don't have the camera with me- these were taken on the cell phone)

The apple guy wasn't joking when he said there were slim pickings, but somehow we managed to find a dozen apples in the first row.

It was fun.  A LOT of fun.  Maybe I have serious thrill issues, but I enjoyed it immensely and would have loved to fill our box full of fresh-from-the-tree red delicious apples.  That's when I started feeling the pain, and that return to reality helped remind me of another reality: we didn't ask the price.  So we headed back and paid the bill: $6.  That works out to about 50 cents an apple.  In light of what we pay for produce at the store, that $6 seemed like a lot, but on the other hand, it was well worth the experience, and next year we hope to return for more.  More apples... and strawberries, blueberries, apricots, tomatoes and peppers.  Better still, maybe we'll plant a tiny vegetable garden in our own backyard. 

By the way: how do you say apricot?  AH-pricot?  Or A-pricot?


Breanne said...

If you have serious thrill issues, so do you. Very serious. I couldn't stop talking and skipping all the way to the trees. And the first apple I picked, I bit into with great gusto. I wanted to pick and pick all day. But we still had to pay for them...=)
SO glad you were able to do this!!

Ashley said...

Kindred spirits. ;-)