Sunday, October 19, 2008

Apples for you, apples for me

So one of the chief joys about fall on the East Coast is apple picking. I have been informed that you can go apple picking (or peach picking or any of the other types of picking I have done out here) on the West Coast, but I never did it while I was there and frankly it just seems like it is more right as over here, while the air is getting cool and crisp, the sun is starting to dip a bit lower ... and most importantly, while the leaves are beginning to match the apples.

So it was very surprising to me to find out that my friend Shauna, born and raised in New York, had never been apple picking. To remedy this, Aviva and I met up with last Saturday Shauna and drove up to Westchester to pick some apples at an orchard called Stuarts farm, in Granite Springs, off of I-684. After getting off the highway and passing a variety of oddly named roads, we turned up mahopac road and soon arrived at the farm. We parked between two low greenhouses, got some sugar cookies, a hot dog and a bushel sized bag and set to work.

Unlike other orchards I have been to, this one was massive, not all that crowded and not particularly well organized. Eventually we did discover signs indicating what types of apples we in each row of trees, but we only found the signs while we were on the way out with our booty.

We picked our way down the rows of the orchard, starting with mostly picked-over trees full of green apples and gradually making our way through reds we speculated to be Empires, Macouns and McIntoshs. The bushel bag we got filled quickly at first, then we slowed down as I spent some time up in time up in the trees chasing a few beautiful pieces of fruit while Aviva and Shauna got more selective in their picks.

Eventually we had gather what seemed like 100 or so apples, and the bag was basically overflowing, so I gingerly picked in up from the bottom and we slowly walked back to the car. We stopped a few times to get a few more apples, which we tried to fit in the bag but ended up just stuffing in our pockets when I could not balance them. After dropping the fruit off at the car, we grabbed a half a dozen fresh cider donuts from the just opened bakery and headed home to hang out and bake apple pies. Another gorgeous fall day on the east coast.

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