Sunday, September 23, 2012

Fall Harvest

Yesterday was the first day of Fall.  My favorite season!  The kids and I spent the afternoon apple picking, in the heat!  It was in the low-80's yesterday where we live!  This was a first for us five.  First time I took the kids apple picking by myself.   I managed to find the place just fine and navigated the bumpy terrain, crossing the run (Crooked Run the actual run, is a tiny tributary of the Goose Creek Scenic River System,)on a wooden plank while herding all four kids and carrying close to 28 lbs of apples!  We had great picking yesterday!

We go to a great local, family-run orchard in Purcellville, Virginia: Crooked Run Orchards.   The land that is now an orchard, was first settled in the 1700's.  We love this place for a few reasons - it is close to us, it is family run, the products are excellent, the prices are great (I paid $1 a lb for tree apples and $.50 a lb for ground apples) and there is no admission fee.  Many of the farms near us are "agrotourism" farms.  They are working farms that feature petting zoos, hayrides, etc and promote tourism by charging an admission fee.  Don't get me wrong, these are great places where you can go and spend the day.  But, when we just want to pick, I don't want to pay twice - once to access the land and once for what we pick!

The kids had a great time!  Everyone had a job.  My oldest was in charge of reading all the signs, telling us what kind of apples were down each row.  My second oldest was in charge of telling us the different color apples, and finding the rows.  The twins also helped identify the color apples and pick up the ground apples.

Last night we made an apple crumble and my kids paid me the highest complement ever.  They told me that I was the best "scratch cook" and that the loved when I "cook from scratch".   I have come along way with my culinary skills from the girl who would only have mustard and vodka in her fridge!  This morning we made mini-apple muffins.  They just came out of the oven and the house smells great!  I need to research some more recipes on what else we can do with our apples. I would love to try to make apple butter!  Please share any of your tried and true apple recipes!

Have a wonderful Sunday!

Buy local  - support area businesses and reduce your family's food miles from farm to table!

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