As I’ve posted before I’m back in Wisco (for the time being…). The weather is just beginning to turn from summer to fall with milder days, cooler nights, and *voila* apples! It’s apple picking season and I am raring to go!
My friend Amanda was visiting for the day so we packed some snacks and hit the road to find some apple orchards. Luckily, this being the Midwest, these are not hard to find. Ever since my study abroad adventures in Botswana during college I have kept a supply of apples hand to eat every day. In Bots, everyone lives off a diet of meat+rice+sugary soft drinks, which is a difficult diet to swallow if you are used to being a vegetarian+none soda drinker. I used to walk the dusty road to the local shopping mall to purchase big bags of green apples to keep in my dorm room at all times (and packets of green tea to drink at room temperature since there was no way to heat the water).
At the orchard we were given as many bags as we wanted- we each took a conservative two- and a map showing which trees had ripe apples. Different varieties become ripe at different times throughout the fall, so the folks who run the place helpfully let visitors know where to pick and where not to. Apple season seems like a flash in the pan. If you take your time about visiting an orchard you will probably miss it! It seems that each week there is a new type of apple ripe and ready for picking!
It was sunny and breezy; basically perfect weather to be out on an Eco-tourism adventure. This particular establishment had some chickens running around. They appeared to be up to their eyeballs in discarded apple cores. Visitors are allowed to brig dogs to the orchard, so there were quite a few happy pups running around. There was also a shady tree-lined ridge separating one part of the orchard from another, so in order to get to all the trees you needed to climb the ridge. The owners had thoughtfully hung a couple of tire swings from the trees, so of course we had to try swinging on them. It didn’t take long to fill up our bags, sampling some (as we were instructed to do by one of the orchard owners) along the way. Apple Berry Farms has a cute little shop selling things like apple salsa, apple butter, knit hats, honey, and other delicious things that you bring your bags to for weighing and purchasing. They also had apple donuts and carmel apples on sticks. We each decided it was very important to buy a donut with our bags of fruit. Sitting outside by the pumpkin patch eating our dessert was highly enjoyable. We left Apple Berry Farms, fruit in hand, in a thoroughly good mood. Sometime I’ll post about the adventure which followed shortly after, which included a deceased horse, trolls, and Norway.