To celebrate the arrival of Fall, I thought it would be only fitting to take the family apple picking. And what luck, there's an adorable Dwarf Apple Tree Farm only 5 minutes from our house. It turned out to be a perfect morning; the rain cleared up and the air was wonderfully cool and crisp.
The orchard has had a few tough years since we moved into the neighbourhood. In 2009 there was a devastating hail storm in the spring which destroyed all the apple blossoms. And then in 2012 we had a freak warm spell in March which caused all the trees to blossom too soon. It was promptly followed by a cruel frost which destroyed the blooms and again no apples. This year was somewhat better, but yet again a wacky hail storm in June damaged the apples. Luckily for us there was still a crop this year and they were offering them at a discount as the apples weren't perfect. Bonus! And really, who cares if they look a little funky when you're making a crumble or applesauce.
We pulled on our rubber boots and headed out to the orchard to fill our 20lb bag. Picking your own apples is soothing to the soul and calming to the mind. And what a fantastic way to teach the kids where our food comes from. Stella dashed from tree to tree trying to find the most perfect apple while Alice rode along contently in her stroller chewing on a MacIntosh.
Red Delicious, Northern Spy, Jona Gold, Macintosh, Mutsu and Golden Delicious, Empire, Spartan, Royal Gala and Ida Red - we picked them all.
Fresh fall air and cloudy skies made for a wonderful morning gathering sweet fruit to fill our pantry. Can't wait to start on some baking adventures!