Every September for as long as I can remember we make at least one trip to the apple orchard up the road to pick our own. We pull the old Little Tykes wagon through the rows of trees and I always bring my camera to record the annual event.
It's become a tricky business keeping up that tradition when karate, Boy Scouts, cross country, flag football, Awana and homework fill our schedule to overflowing.
But last week, Mr. T's coach cancelled practice because of Homecoming festivities, so we hit the orchard right away after school.
An early heat wave followed by a late frost decimated most of the orchards in Wisconsin. Many orchards lost 90% of their crop--imagine!
It was probably the hardest we've had to work to fill our bags, but we managed to bring home 53 pounds of Cortland and Jonagold (my personal favorite, next to Braeburn apples). We're not "an apple a day" kind of people. We're more like "2-3 apples a day," so 53 pounds will not last for the whole winter. Thankfully Washington State had a bumper year for apples, so we can supplement our habit with imported apples.
We snuck in our trip in the nick of time because a few days later they closed the orchard for the season. It's apple crisp, apple bread, apple pie, apples sliced, apples dipped in caramel, apples schmeared with peanut butter, apples chopped into salads, apples baked atop pork chops around here.
We also have our own stuff to harvest back home. Not apples or pears, though. Our trees were bare this year.
Pumpkins and gourds? We have PLENTY. And sunflower seeds, tomatoes, beets, carrots and onions, too.
Spill it, reader. What was your bumper crop this year?