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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.