Tuesday, September 22, 2009


I'd read that with this past summer's plentiful rains, the apples this fall would be extra huge and juicy. Yum! I really wanted to apple picking. It sounded so perfectly New Englandy. And I really wanted to go on a weekday when there would be fewer crowds. (Waiting in line for an hour to get a cider doughnut just did not sound like my idea of a good time.) So voila: last-minute trip to go apple picking.

After lots of internet research, I decided on Doe Orchards in Harvard, MA. It was reputed to be non-gimmicky with none of the tourist trap trappings that some other orchards sport. No hayrides. No face painting. Just rows upon rows of beautiful apple trees laden with fruit.

It's a bit of a drive there (45 minutes or so), but we passed by Walden Pond (hello, Thoreau) and some beautiful countryside. There were very few people out this afternoon. It felt as if we had the orchard to ourselves. The kiddos and I took our wagon and our bags and trekked across the fields. Row upon rows of trees stretched before us. Each tree was improbably laden with fruit. Amazing. And beautiful.

I was worried that the kiddos would go into a frenzy of apple picking, and I would have to bring home a bag of wormy, green apples. But no. They were very careful (even the little Lu) to check each apple for worms or imperfections. And they carefully twisted (don't pull...twist) the apple off the branch and gently laid it in the bag.
Such happy, intent faces! The folks at the orchard encouraged us to taste the apples so each girl had an apple in hand, crunching away, as she searched for the perfect apple.

And here is the result of all that labor. A half-bushel plus one peck of apples...a.k.a. 36 pounds of apples!

We've already used about four pounds in an apple crisp. Delicious (with an improbable amount of butter)! Let's say this is a once-a-year treat. I'm planning fresh applesauce, apple butter, and apple pie. And of course, fresh apples for eating. Yum!

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