Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Orchard picks and pics

I recently tossed out a suggestion on Facebook to see if friends/coworkers might be interested in going apple picking at Stotler's Orchard for a fun, fall event.  We used to go with Sharon and Andy each fall (2008) (2009), but since they moved last year, they didn't seem too keen on the idea of driving 9 hrs from Tennessee just to come pick apples with us.  So...how about starting a new tradition!?

Seems like a lot of people loved the idea, but then once you nail down a date not everyone's going to be able to make it.  We still had a pretty good turn out, with I think 22 people (ourselves included) showing up.  After a little confusion about how apple picking doesn't actually start til 3pm on Sundays (whoops!) and the owners working with us, we got the whole gang out in the orchard.

But first - DONUTS!  I bought a dozen mixed donuts for people to snack on, and Isabella had a bit of a mishap with the powdered sugar, her hair, and wind.  CUTE!

It's been in the news quite a bit - unlike last year's shortage of apples, this year has more than made up for it.  The trees were loaded!

Unfortunately, this particular weekend seemed to be between some of the early and mid-season apples, so there wasn't a lot to choose from.  It's really hard to know how this'll work out when you're nailing down a specific date weeks in advance...you just have to work with what Mother Nature is providing!  Thankfully, there's the two Mystery Rows of apples at Stotler's, with lots of different varieties as you go down the rows.  That means you could have a nice ripe variety next to a variety that's already done, or not yet ready and super tart.  Even though I planned on picking two bags (a full bushel), I only picked one bag's worth.  I'll probably stop back in in a couple weeks and see what they have to sale already picked.

Coming back from a trek down a long row of apple trees...

The turn out was great - we had Jen and her family (pictured above), Anita (behind Jen in the pic below), Andy and his family (I missed pics of them), Kelly and her family (Isabella's in the top pic), Mike (who recently retired) and his daughter (who I'd been "hanging out" with on Ravelry - she's a knit pattern designer, don't ya know!), and then later Edith and her family showed up.

Here's Kelly and her daughter Isabella, with Jessica hiding from the camera.

Jessica's dad Mike returning with a fully loaded bag of apples!

I came across this variety (name unknown) that looked like they were glowing!  They were in the mystery row, so it's possible the owners don't even know the variety.  I have to say I don't remember these tasting all that great - they might've been a bit too soft if I remember right?  But the photo here doesn't do them justice - they really looked like they were lit from the inside.

Jen's husband John was the first to come across this crazy variety!  Look how big they are!!  I grabbed one as well - even though they didn't taste all that great to me.  I found out in the shop they're Jumbo (I think that's the official name, and not just something you say in surprise), and that they're supposed to be tart and are really good in pies.  We'll see - I'll be making a pie or two this week!

Here's Jen and Anita - aren't they cute posing with the trees?

All-in-all, I think everyone had a great time...and there was talk from some of the folks about maybe doing it again next year!

A couple notes about those links to us picking with Sharon and Andy in previous years:

  1. The 2008 pics show us back in the heirloom orchard, which I'd HOPED we'd get to do with coworkers this year.  Unfortunately, there were probably a couple inches of rain over the couple of days before we went picking this year, and we were warned there were a couple "lakes" on the way back to the heirloom apples, and there were some safety concerns about trying to get back there.  Bummer.  But you can see what the chart looks like, etc...
  2. I think Brett wore the same Transformers shirt for picking this year as in the 2009 pics!  Is that his official apple-picking shirt!?
  3. I'm not sure if I have pics from 2010-2012....we may have been more focused on picking and less on posing?


anne marie in philly said...

ooooooooooooh, I put 2 of Jen's patterns in my cart!

Jeph said...

Does this make me her pimp!?!?

While I'm not a shawl wearer, and I'm only just now knitting my first (as a gift), from what I saw in person at River Color Studio she does BEAUTIFUL work, AND inspired me to pick up some Malabrigo Arroyo colors.

Sharon Andy Holderman said...

awwww...I'm not in the pictures this year. Saaaaaad.