I've had the itch to go apple picking and a few weeks ago we finally did it. We decided to try a local orchard that was recommended to us by some of Casey's co-workers, so we loaded up the hooligans and headed to Lynd's Farms. It was supposed to be about a 30 minute drive but we didn't realize the weekend we chose was PUMPKIN-PALOOZA! The little country road was backed up and it took us quite a bit longer to get there, but once we got out of the van and started picking we were in heaven. Although it was really crowded we didn't feel smothered as we did our apple picking. The kids kept picking the hugest apples they could find even though we kept begging them to please find reasonable apples. We picked a bushel of apples in no time flat (silly me, I was thinking this would be an all day activity), so we headed over to the pumpkin field where we found three lovely plumply pumpkins. Then we paid. I think it was around $36 for 1 bushel of apples (about 40 lbs) and 3 large pumpkins. Not too bad. Before heading home we stopped at the little market they have and bought a bunch of little pumpkins, gourds, apple cider, and a half bushel of apple 2nds for making apple sauce.
You may be wondering what we did with all (60 lbs) of our apples...We invited 2 families over for caramel apple making (during which Maya got scalding hot caramel dripped on her fingers and is now sporting 3 blistered digits), we made 3 quarts of applesauce, at least one apple pie, and the kids have had apples every day in their lunches. Porter told me that all the kids in his class said "Did you see how big his apple is? AND HE ATE THE WHOLE THING!". I guess 3rd graders get a kick out of freakishly big apples. We still have quite a few apples left so I've got applesauce making on my list for this week (or maybe I'll just make more pies).
The pumpkin patch was also fun. I should have asked someone to get a picture of us so Ender and I could have been in this picture. I love pumpkin patch pictures.
Maya and Porter each picked out their own pumpkin. It was fun to see what they picked. Porters was big and round with deep grooves and had a long handle-like stem. Maya's was smaller (although you'd never guess from her picture) and more rounded on one side than the other so it kind of looked like a hunched back pumpkin. Casey picked the last one and it was an awesome tall thin fellow with deep grooves and tons of character (the only flaw was it's stem was too short for my liking).