Posts Tagged ‘orchard’

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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On a recent, crisply beautiful (if windy) Saturday, J and I headed west (of Boston) to go apple picking with some friends. We went last year and had a blast – and this year was just as much fun. We came home with a bulging bag of apples, half a gallon of fresh apple cider and a couple dozen photos – because I can’t resist taking photos of apple orchards, or of my friends:

As so often happens for me, our experience called to mind something I’d read in a book – in this case, a passage from The Story Girl by L.M. Montgomery:

October was a busy month on the hill farms. The apples had to be picked, and this work fell mainly to us children. We stayed home from school to do it. […]

Some of the apples had to be picked very carefully. But with others it did not matter; we boys would climb the trees and shake the apples down until the girls shrieked for mercy. The days were crisp and mellow, with warm sunshine and a tang of frost in the air, mingled with the woodsy odours of the withering grasses. The hens and turkeys prowled about, pecking at windfalls, and Pat [the cat] made mad rushes at them amid the fallen leaves. The world beyond the orchard was in a royal magnificence of colouring, under the vivid blue autumn sky. The big willow by the gate was a splendid golden dome, and the maples that were scattered through the spruce grove waved blood-red banners over the sombre cone-bearers.

Sigh. Doesn’t that sound like perfection?

Our excursion wasn’t quite that magical, but with good friends, laughter around a picnic table, and two long, leisurely strolls through the rows (one before lunch, one after), filling our bags and soaking up the beautiful day and each other’s company, it was pretty close.

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