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New England falls for apples

Posted By Denebola On October 29, 2008 @ 9:23 pm In Features | Comments Disabled

By Julia Sklar

It’s Columbus Day weekend, the sky is blue, the air is crisp, and the foliage is so intense the trees look like they’re on fire. So what do you do? You go apple picking! Apple pie, apple crisp, apple pan dowdy, Apples-to-Apples, the apple of discord, Adam and Eve’s apple. I diverge, but you have to admit, everything begins and ends with the apple.

I’m sure they grow apples in other parts of the world (maybe? Who knows¦), but no one does apple picking better than New Englanders. Forget the Red Sox, forget the Patriots, apple picking is the quintessential New England fall activity. In fact, it’s practically a sport.

Nearly every October I go to Putney, Vermont with my family and we pick a cornucopia of apple varieties at Green Mountain Orchards: Macoun, MacIntosh, Jonagold, Gala, Fiji, Northern Spy (although they’re a little suspicious, so we tend to stay away from those).

Before amassing said cornucopia, there’s always some sort of catastrophe regarding the various sized apple baskets they have at the register. With labels like bushel and peck, who knows what they mean!

As if the rest of the world didn’t already hate our non-metric using guts enough, throw in other nondescript units of measurement why don’t you.

It usually works out okay though; we grab a medium size bag (maybe it’s called a busheck, I don’t know) and just go for it.

The orchard is always filled with quaint Americans in search of that “perfect apple. I have to tell you though, there’s no such thing. Sorry. Nonetheless, you hear voices, whose personages are hidden somewhere in the trees around you, hollerin’ over to each other, “Bob, I found one! Quick, tell the kids!

I always feel bad though when I get tricked, once again, into reaching for what might finally be the perfect apple and in the process knocking some innocent apples to the ground. I go through the same argument in my head every single year: I should probably pick them up and put them in my basket’€they’re not that bad. But they touched the ground. You’re going to wash them all anyways. Nah, just leave them.

When we’re done with our hard earned apple picking, we bring our red wagon (oh yes, there’s a red wagon involved) down to the weighing station and claim the bag for ourselves.

Usually we pick up some fresh made cider doughnuts (best things in the world), mulled apple cider (too hot to drink usually), and then head out to the fields again to get a pumpkin. Why not? Halloween is right around the corner.

Off in the distance Christmas trees budding from the ground can be seen, and as the horse drawn hay ride clanks by and another apple plunks to the ground, the sun sets and hits the bright orange and red trees just right.

It really is just that classic. When all is said and done though, apple picking really is quite fun. There’s nothing like being back at home and biting into an apple you’ve just picked that day’€they always taste different.

It’s pretty easy to get caught up in the tradition around here; after all, this is the home state of Johnny Appleseed.

Tin pot on his head, apple seeds in hand, he is supposedly responsible for spreading the seeds of our quintessential “sport throughout this glorious part of the country. Like skiing, turkeys, and white churches, apple picking is just one of those New England things.

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URLs in this post:

[1] New England’s fall pastimes: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/10/28/new-englands-fall-pastimes/

[2] Denebola wins NESPA award: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2008/05/14/may-2-denebola-wins-nespa-award/

[3] New England Patriots: Is it really cheating?: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2007/09/23/new-england-patriots-is-it-really-cheating/

[4] Seasons Club offers opportunity to embrace great outdoors: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/10/28/seasons-club-offers-opportunity-to-embrace-great-outdoors/

[5] Apple: big business, big problems: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/06/10/apple-big-business-big-problems/

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