Fall fun: Apple picking

I love fall. The crisp feeling in the air, the faint smell of a bonfire, the tasty fall desserts…lots of fun. Our fall traditions always begin toward the end of September when my mom and I take the girls on our annual trip to Solebury Orchards.

Solebury Orchards is a lovely little market and orchard that has the. best. Jonathan apples. I grew up a mile from the orchard and we always got our apples there. And now, even though my parents have moved and it is 45 minutes from our house, we make our trek.

Jonathan apples are dark red, shiny apples that are crunchy and tart. Mmmm, my mouth is watering just thinking about them. We love to make applesauce, apple pies, and apple crisp. And then there’s the cakes. Jewish apple cake, apple coffee cake, yum. Since the orchard is 45 minutes away and the Jonathans have a very short picking season, we always have to stock up.

The owner of the orchard knows us after all the years, and he lets us drive our car out to the Jonathan row. We loaded up the car with baskets and headed out. This year the trees were absolutely loaded with apples. The big girls scooted off with my mom and I stayed with Sydney to remind her how to do it. I found a branch with about 15 apples low enough so she could reach it, and I said, “Here, pick these apples and put them in your basket. Don’t throw them, just gently put them in.” I watched her gingerly place an apple in her basket and then I got to picking myself.

The next time I looked over, a couple minutes later, she was taking a juicy bite out of an apple. I watched her gingerly place the bitten apple in her basket, right next to four others, also with bites in them!
After that, she got the hang of picking without testing each apple, but I think the best part for her (and her big sissies) was getting to climb the trees. They were so proud of climbing up all by themselves, even if they were only a couple of feet off the ground. They sat there and ate apples while my mom and I filled all the baskets.

We were done picking in record time this year, even with the girls climbing trees to their hearts’ content. I loaded up all the apples and we headed back to the market to get them weighed.

160 pounds of apples. That’s not a typo. And it’s not unusual for us–last year we got 150 pounds. I am all set to make applesauce this afternoon. Yummy!

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