She Says… New England’s Specialty

Baltimore, where I grew up, is famous for crabs. Oh, they have the best crabs. Vegas is famous for glitz and glam and gambling. New Orleans is famous for Mardi Gras and jazz. Similarly, New England, hands down, is famous for fall.

Apples. Pumpkins. Crisp air. Changing leaves.

Fall really doesn’t get much better than this.

And last weekend was the beginning of the really good fall-like weather. So we did what almost every New England family did last weekend. We went apple picking.

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Except, here’s the thing. When we arrived at the orchard, there was a big sign that said “Pick-Your-Own Apples SOLD OUT”. Ummm, what? It’s only the middle of September! In my mind, that’s the very beginning of apple season. Apparently for some reason this season’s crop of apples is particularly puny. As in, all of the apples within arm’s reach have already been picked, despite the fact that it’s not even October yet.

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Bummer. But the good news is that Owen’s attention span isn’t really suited for hours of picking anyway, and though I love to bake delicious apple treats, we didn’t really need bags and bags of apples to take home either.

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So we happily enjoyed a hayride on one of the most beautiful days of the year. Owen couldn’t contain his excitement as he handed the driver his ticket and got bounced around behind a tractor. A REAL, LIVE TRACTOR, OHMYGOODNESS. He was in little boy heaven.

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After our hayride we went into the barn and there was an amazing apple sorter machine. Owen couldn’t take his eyes off of it and kept asking everyone, even people we didn’t know, how it worked. He watched the apples go from the crates to the water bath to the shiner to the conveyor belt and squealed when they dropped from the conveyor belt onto the various tables, sorted by size.

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And, of course, there was lot of quality control. Owen ate at least 2 whole apples and even tried to eat the cores (in addition to sharing one of the most delicious cider donuts I’ve ever had in my life with me). He dropped one apple on the floor and, after I told him it was too yucky and we had to throw it away, he asked everyone in the store, “Hey! Can I eat the yucky apple?”, in hopes of getting a different answer than I gave him.

We have a date with friends to go apple picking again at a different orchard this weekend, but who knows if there will be any apples! If not, I’m sure Owen will be just as happy with a hayride and a trip to the pumpkin patch.

Fall at its best, my friends.

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4 responses to “She Says… New England’s Specialty

  1. Ive been reading your blog for awhile now and ansolutely love it. Though I have never commented on your page directly, I always reference you and your experiences when speaking with my husband. You’re fondly referred to ‘the woman who writes the blog I LOVE’ at my house. You were the reason I knew that Lookout Farm was open for the season this year and I have been going at least once every two weeks since. They have awesome apples right now. It has been super crowded there the past two wrmeekends. Another good orchard is Honeypot Hill in Stow. Everyone was there this weekend. I heard of many a traffic jam and sold out hotdogs and the line for cider donuts being so long that they had to turn people away close to closing time. It is my favorite or hard and there were so many apples to pick and a hayride, which my two year old boy loved! What orchard was sold out of apples? My son loves farms and I’m sure we’ll check out a few more before picking season ends. Please let me know! Thanks!

  2. @Catherine, Thank you so much! I’m flattered :) The farm we went to last weekend was “The Big Apple” in Wrentham. They were out of apples, as was Dowse Orchard in Sherborn. Weird! I’m happy to hear there are still apples to be had elsewhere. Maybe we’ll actually do some picking this weekend. I went to Honeypot ages ago with Benjamin before babies were even on the horizon and I remember it being very cute!

  3. I always love seeing your fall adventures! It was very weird weather this year and it definitely affected apples AND pumpkins! And I might be the only one who has never heard of a cider donut? I think I need one, NOW!

  4. We went to Tougas Farm in Northborough last Sunday. We got there at opening at 10 and it was busy. It got much busier by the end of the day, to the point where they were suggesting that people come back another day. TONS of varieties of apples! They’re on FB so you could check them out there to get updates on picking conditions.

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