Summer’s winding down, school’s starting, but there are still memories to be made. I remember picking apricots and apples from an orchard with my mom. It is an interesting memory since I am one of nine children. Most my memories consist of siblings acting out plays, being chased around the house, getting dog piled, and my personal favorite, creating a sloppiest kiss contest for my baby brother. However, for some reason, when I think about the time I picked fruit with my mom I felt totally alone and it was magical.
I had forgotten about this memory until one week ago when I received a message from a childhood friend who recently moved back into the area. As I listened to her message on speakerphone my girls overheard “Mary, I have a ton of pears on my trees and they need to be picked or they’ll end up on the ground and go rotten.” The girls squealed and begged me to take them.
The next morning, I wasn’t sure I had the energy to pack the children to pick fruit. We had arrived home the night before from an exhausting trip. However, I knew it would never be easy to get outdoors and I knew anything worth doing took effort. As we left, I had high expectations, I wanted my children to have the same magical feeling I did as a child picking fruit from a ladder and working hard. I was not disappointed. My friend had acres of land filled with fruit trees of every kind, and we worked. When we finished, the children were rewarded with a fast zip line ride across my friends yard. I’m unsure which may have been more memorable, the fruit picking or the zip line, but either way it had been a magical time.
It’s harvest time for apples and apricots and there are local orchards and farms willing to let you pick your own fruit. If you’d like to find places to harvest in your area visit www.pickyourown.org
If you’d rather not spend the money, ask a friend or a neighbor who has fruit trees and offer to help pick them with your children. They may give be grateful and let you keep a few – the experience is worth it.
Did you know? The average amount of apples picked from a single tree is 840 pounds! That’s enough for over 400 pies. Get great recipe ideas at applejournal.com (apple butter, fritters and even taffy) and get cooking.