October 08, 2006
Fall has fallen: the air is cool and crisp; the sky is clear and blue; leaves are yellowing, turning red, and raining from the trees; and the apples are ripe. Not content to simply buy a bag at the farmers' market, David and I went with our friends Sara and Josh to Wasem Fruit Farm to pick them ourselves. This was my second apple-picking adventure, and Josh's first. David and Sara, having grown up in the Midwest, had picked plenty of apples in their lifetimes, but neither had been in a long time. David and I do try to get to the Alber Orchard each fall to buy apples, but they don't let us pick them ourselves. And, considering what a mess we made of things, I can now see why.
We paid 25 cents each for two half-bushel bags, and set out into the groves. Signs warned us to pick only from the labeled rows, but as we made our way down a row of Empire apples, we found that only one end of each row was labeled, so when we got to the other end, we had no idea what kind of apples surrounded us or whether we could pick them. So we just started tasting. David and Josh accepted this challenge, biting into apples from various trees and telling Sara and me whether they were worth picking. They came across Red Delicious as big as our heads, though we deemed this variety a waste of time; Red Delicious are just about the most boring apples in the world. They declared the Ida Reds tart but mealy. I wasn't such an apple snob until I moved to Ann Arbor. In Los Angeles we had three kinds of apples -- red, yellow, and green (just like a traffic light!) -- and none of them were that great. But here we have enough varieties that I can distinguish between the good and the better. Apparently we were not the only ones taste-testing the apples: the ground was strewn with half-eaten fruit.
Eventually we filled our half-bushel bags and paid for them -- $20 for the two bags -- wondering all the while whether Wasem charges more or less for U-pick apples. On the way home, we stopped by a corn maze but, after a brief conversation about the movie Children of the Corn, we decided not to actually do the maze. I think David and I now have enough apples to get us through the winter. The question is where to store them all?
Posted by eklanche at October 8, 2006 05:28 PM