Sunday, September 16, 2012

Apple Day at Terhune Orchards

This weekend, Jeff and I visited Terhune Orchards for Apple Day! I love any opportunity to visit the Mounts' lovely farm, but it's especially fun during a special event.

Apple season is a wonderful time. I keep apples on hand for snacking during most seasons of the year, but there's nothing like one fresh off the tree. The crisp crunch when you bit into a truly fresh apple is irreplaceable. So, of course, when it comes to apple picking, I tend to get excited and overdo things.

When Jeff and I arrived at Apple Day, we went straight for the orchard to pick our own apples. I remember the first time we went apple picking at Terhune, a few years ago. We picked a dozen or so apples before we figured it was more than we could manage. Perhaps it was, back then. Today, with our canning and preserving expertise, we are made of sterner stuff. We ended up with over 18 pounds of Empires and 12 pounds of Stayman-Winesaps.

Our first apple-picking excursion last year focused on Empires, which we used for applesauce. The sauce was delicious and perfectly sweet without any additional sugar. We loved it, so we knew another batch would be in order this year. Stayman-Winesaps are nice crispy tart apples - one of my favorite eating varieties. They're also good for all sorts of cooking. We made a batch of applesauce with them last year, as well, but it needed some sugar (which I'd prefer not to add if I don't have to). We ended up making a batch of apple butter with this year's batch, since that required sugar anyway. We still have a vast quantity of apples to find a use for. More applesauce, at the very least, is in order for this week.

Once we'd picked our apples and stashed them in our car, Jeff and I were free to roam around the farm.

We visited the lovely chickens in their coop. I find the idea of fresh eggs every day so enticing!

It was an absolutely gorgeous day to be roaming around the farm. I took this picture from down by the pond. Check out the solar panels on the roof - all 21st-century farms ought to be so sustainable!

We wandered to the other end of the farm and made our way through the corn maze. It was not as challenging as last year's, since we managed to stumble on the correct path almost right away. Then we stopped by the food tent for some barbecue chicken and apple treats.

Finally, we examined the collection of pumpkins. We decided it was a bit early to buy ourselves carving pumpkins, though (and it's likely we'll get them from the CSA anyway). Instead, I opted for a picturesque cheese pumpkin to decorate my living room until I decide to eat it. Yummy.

Apple Day may be over, but Terhune still has apple picking every day and fall festival events most weekends (pretty similar to Apple Day, from the sound of them, but probably less crowded). Even if you don't live near Terhune, do yourself a favor and get to a farm some weekend. In my opinion, there's no better way to spend a crisp, sunny fall afternoon!

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