Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Apple Picking with a Raspberry & Cider Harvest

Everyone was looking forward to apple picking day.  We enjoyed a trip to the apple orchard with Nana and Papa last year so we held to this tradition over the weekend.  The weather was perfect!  Crisp, sunny, and breezy.  As we walked up to the stand to buy our box to fill, the boy told us that a late-spring hail storm destroyed all but a bit of the entire crop.  They harvested what they could salvage and some were for sale in bags and to make cider out of, but the only you-pick produce available was raspberries.  We all love raspberries, but little hearts were set on apples.  After the grown-ups did a bit of recovery prep-talking to the littles, (We still get to pick some treats!  Look how gorgeous it is today!  We will still be able to press cider.  Let's see how quickly we can fill our basket up...) off to the raspberry rows we went.

There were many honey bees enjoying the sweet, ripe berries and my youngest didn't like sharing with them so much, but she pushed on (for the first half)...

It really was a beautiful day, and the surroundings were simply detoxifying.

After we filled our raspberry basket and devoured a lovely picnic lunch, we made our way to the cider mill.  First, the apples were washed.

Then, my oldest took the job of crushing the apples very seriously, while the other three filled the hopper as fast as their little hands could.  It was quite the assembly line.

It was time to press the cider.  The oldest two used their muscles while the little girls looked forward to getting big enough to reach the handles and help.

Out came the cider!

Through the strainer the cider went, into our jug to take home and relish.

Sometimes, we get thrown a curve ball.  Everyone with children knows that last-minute changes can be hard for them to recover from.  It might have taken a while for disappointed little faces to point away from the ground and towards the raspberry canes filled with ripe, red berries, but it happened.  The picnic still went as planned though.  The much-anticipated treats were brought out and enjoyed.  There was an extra surprise of a petting zoo that really brightened the day of my five-year-old lover of all animals, and we still came home with a gallon of fresh, raw cider and a 10-pound bag of jonagold apples, perfect for snacking and cooking with.  Not to forget the large basket of raspberries that we'll do something yummy with tonight (perhaps a recipe post will follow).  

Regardless of the missed apple-picking experience (and feeling so very sad for the farmers), the trip signified the arrival of autumn, and made us all the more excited to plant some apple trees of our own this November.  Happy autumn!

I'm sharing this at Barn Hop.


  1. sorry about the disappointment! i am like a kid and don't love curve balls. sounds fun to pick raspberries though - i haven't picked those yet! i am looking forward to hearing what you make with them. mmmmm

    my recent post: when the curse is reversed

  2. Looks like a great time was still had by all. :)

  3. oh thats such a bummer for them to loose all that! and for you guys too but looks like a lot of fun was had and oh how i love raseberries!!!

  4. We need one of those hopper -presser things,we will have apples late October,looks so fun!.....love the term"littles"

  5. Lindsey_ChicMoneyTalkSeptember 28, 2011 at 7:19 AM

    The cider making is sooo very cool! That is so sad about the apple trees, though.


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