Friday, September 19, 2008

It's Apple Time Again

Katie, age 15, gathering apples.

My children have been begging me to take them apple picking. Although they enjoy picking the apples and trying new varieties, what they really want is homemade apple butter. I ran out of apple butter in February of last year. These poor kids are wasting away eating apple butter from the grocery store.

The temperature was a comfortable 70 degrees and we planned to pick 5 bushels. Two years ago when we last bought U-pick apples, I paid $9.50 a bushel. We went to an orchard 25 minutes from our house. The orchard has started offering hayrides, pumpkin art, decorated scarecrows, and many "events". The U-pick apples cost $9.50 a 1/2 bushel. I thought that maybe the price was so high because the orchard was now a "Family Fun Destination." So, we got back in the car and went to a different orchard 45 minutes in the other direction.

This orchard is still a farmer's orchard. It's located between two corn fields. The apples were $13 for 1/2 a bushel. YIKES!!! We picked 2 bushels. I'm still finding it hard to believe that I would spend $52 on 2 bushels of apples. Here are my justifications: 1. The children were begging to go an pick apples. 2. We didn't have time to drive to another orchard. 3. The cost of gas to drive to another orchard would make cheaper apples almost as expensive.

We all had a good time and will spend tomorrow freezing sliced apples and making apple butter, which I will distribute sparingly.

Madelyn, 10, picking Roma apples. The farmer had tons on the trees still and they were starting to split. What a waste!

Paige, 5, holding up a Roma apple that she wants to eat in the car on the way home.

Stephen, 13 1/2 amongst the branches looking for apples.

Joseph picking Empire apples. He filled his bag before anyone else.

Amy, age 21, helping Alison, age 3, pick apples without breaking branches.

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