Posts Tagged ‘apple picking’

apple trees blue sky

Every September, we head to the orchard. And every September, I am enchanted.

After five years in New England, we have established a few beloved traditions. This is one of my favorites.

apple trees branches

I am always amazed by the low, rambling trees: so different from the tidy rows I remember seeing in picture books. (There are no apple orchards in West Texas, where I grew up.)

The reality is messier, though the different varieties are clearly marked. We always head straight for the Empires, plucking them off the branches, crunching as we go.

This year, we had a big crowd: both newbies and veterans. We arrived in a pack, then wandered the rows in loose, straggling groups, picking, laughing, snapping pictures.

adam jer orchard

The guys always have to do a little climbing, and a little horsing around.

Eventually, we all met up at the other side of the farm, for apple cider donuts, chili dogs and more photos.

katie abi orchard

This is our sixth year picking apples together. Abi loves it as much as I do. We have been friends since our freshman year in college, and I am constantly grateful that we get to live this Boston life side by side.

katie evie orchard

Sweet Evie (who belongs to Abi) is too young to pick apples yet, but she happily came along for the ride.

We had such perfect weather this year: blue skies, crisp air, golden sunshine. Of course, I love sharing it all with this guy.

katie jer orchard apple trees

I’ve already made one apple crisp, and snacked on a few apples out of hand. Yum.

What are your favorite fall traditions?


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This weekend, for the third year, we headed to an orchard west of Boston, to participate in one of my favorite New England traditions.

apples orchard close up fall autumn

Apple picking is still a wonder to this West Texas girl. I am in love with the knobbly, rambling trees, whose branches bend and curve every which way, sprouting skyward and hanging low toward the ground, heavy with dusky, ripe fruit.

apple tree branches orchard

The first year, it was sheer novelty and a little overwhelm. The second year, it was sunshine and laughter, and trying to remember which varieties we’d loved the year before. This year, we felt like locals, guiding a group of recent Boston transplants among the rows of Empires and Cortlands and McIntosh.

picking apples orchard fall new england

After we filled our bags to bursting, there were apple cider doughnuts, fresh and warm. Our six-year-old friends smeared their faces with caramel, eating candy apples, and the rest of us munched doughnuts and loaded up on freshly pressed cider and dark, sweet jars of apple butter. We perched on picnic tables, resting our feet and laughing, savoring the crisp air and tart, fresh fruit and the deep joy of being together.

abi katie apple picking

I dug into our haul that evening to make an apple-peach crisp, and I reach into the bag every morning as I leave for work, grabbing an apple for the road. But there are plenty more apples to savor, and I plan to relish every one.

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