after apple-picking

21 09 2009

We like apples, yes we do.

red delicious

We like apples, how about you?

Took a little road trip this weekend to Hartland Orchard in Markham, VA. It’s an old, sprawling farm in the hills of western Virginia – built in the late 18th century and currently a seasonal, pick-your own place from June – December. Peach season has just passed, alas, but we were in time for apple season.

golden delicious

Rambling along the orchard-covered hills, maps and apple bags in hand. Braeburn, Winesap, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Rambo, Mutsu/Crispen. Just to name a few varieties, only the ones we selected out of so many more. The hills were alive with the sound of children laughing and children tired from so much fun; families spreading picnic blankets and families marching along with apple poles; birds and crickets and drifts of gnats. The day was cool, clear, and flooded with sunlight.

orchard bw

Just a few pictures for keeping, and others only in our memory. A caravan of friends, old and new. Tasting apples from the tree. Bebe in a carrier, helping his dada pick the higher apples and toss them to mama. Bebe rummaging through the bag when we sat in the shade to rest, and (finally) finding an apple just his size.

tiny apple

Later, winding down the narrow, narrow roads to the check-out at the main building area, our staff member laughed when we showed her our bag. “You call that a bag? That’s not a full bag!” she said, and gave us a discount even when we tried to pay the full amount. “Try the apple butter,” she said, “they just made it.” So we did, and we couldn’t leave without a jar of fresh, hot applebutter direct from the farm’s kitchens.

And later still, in the cool summer-evening, a backyard barbecue.

Thick, grilled porkchops – brined and cooked slowly
Fresh, chunky apple sauce
Sweet corn on the cob
Red potato salad
Frosty beer

Such a delicious Saturday.

And I could tell
What form my dreaming was about to take.
Magnified apples appear and disappear,
Stem end and blossom end,
And every fleck of russet showing clear.
-from “After Apple-Picking” by Robert Frost (1874-1963)

For crunchy parents: GardenMama has a magazine subscription giveaway for Mothering Magazine. Sign-ups open until Sept 24th.




5 responses

21 09 2009

Ohhhh….we are soon to go picking apples here too. We made some applesauce today, and it reminded me of how much I love this time of year.

Just stopping by from the vintage swap….in case you were wondering;)

21 09 2009

Thanks for your comments, Elizabeth! I’m looking forward to the vintage swap too.

21 09 2009

What a beautiful post!
It looks like you certainly had a lovely day!
Robert Frost was my grandfathers favorite poet, so lovely to see this written here! Thank you for the link! Enjoy your week : )

22 09 2009

we are crazy about apple…

1 10 2009

Oh I would so love to live close to an apple orchard. There is one over the Rockies that I have thought of taking the kids too, but I am not sure that they could take a six hour drive just to pick apples. Maybe next year.

Your menu sounds wonderful 🙂

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