Thursday, October 3, 2013

Time to Harvest Apples!


"A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver"--Proverbs 25:11

It is said that Sir Isaac Newton developed his theory of gravity when an apple fell on his head. After seeing as many apples as I have seen (and felt) fall, one would think I would have attained a much greater level of enlightenment in the past month!

Our crew of 6 has picked six bins (about 4000 pounds of apples) in about 4 hours for a local orchard on several days.  How fast we pick depends on how selective the picking is and the size of the trees.  Our current record is a bin in 20 minutes.  We have had fun learning the basics of fruit picking (how to keep the apples from bruising and how to empty a fruit-picking sack). 

While Sir Isaac Newton only had to watch for falling apples, we discovered orchards should post signs reading "Beware of Falling Mice."  My sister once reached up and picked an apple and noticed what looked like a very messy nest on it.  The apple was not in good shape, so she dropped it.  A few minutes later I heard someone mention an animal in the tree...and then someone said, "Bethany, watch out!"  I cleared out of the way, and lo and behold, there was a mother mouse with a half dozen tiny mice clinging to her--*up in the tree!*  Poor mouse, the apple had been her home.  She scurried down and then made successive trips until her whole brood was assembled on the ground.  So much for Beatrix Potter's mouse that lived in a shoe...living in an apple ripening in a tree beats them all!  The mouse could have been given an award for ingenuity if she hadn't overlooked the problem of some hungry person *picking* the apple.  (No need to worry next time you bite into an apple--our apple picker's union guarantees you will not find any mice). 

We picked Cortland, Jonathan, McIntosh, and Wealthy apples.  The Cortlands are the largest--and extremely filling (they seem best for slicing or apple pies).  Meanwhile, Jonathan apples are small, making a perfect lunch-box apple.  This year has been an excellent year for apples, so the 1400 or so trees that fill the orchard are completely loaded!

Apple Ridge Orchard makes delicious, award-winning apple cider, and their pies are quite tasty too,  so if you're ever nearby be sure to make your own visit to the apple orchard!

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