Thursday, October 8, 2015

Autumn Adventures: Exploring at the Apple Orchard

Boys standing under apple tree with title Autumn Adventures: Exploring the Apple Orchard

Fall is my favorite time of the year!  I love the crisp air, the changing colors, and wearing warm cozy hooded sweatshirts. I love cooking with winter squashes, apples, and pumpkin (to some extent...you won't find me keeping a list of all the pumpkin spiced late items I can find).  I love the smells of fall that fill the outside air, and the smells of cooking and baking found inside. The best part is more and more chances for family time, as we have several holidays close together.


apple background with text: Fall is my favorite time of year

Any chance we get to set aside the hustle and bustle of a typical busy week to spend time together making memories is a win in my book, and fall presents lots of opportunities. It doesn't always have to be something big and costly.  Sometimes, it doesn't have to cost anything at all - playing games, watching movies, jumping in puddles, or a walk in the woods are just a few great ways to do some family bonding.

Recently, we had the chance to go apple picking with one of the boys' grandmothers and an aunt.  It was a perfect fall activity for us that day.  We were able to get out of the house and enjoy a beautiful afternoon without having to spend all day planning, prepping, and packing to be gone all day.  In fact, the decision to go was pretty spur-of-the-moment.

My in-laws live just a mile or so from 2 different apple orchards, so we decided to hop in the car and visit one.  When we got there, we spent a few minutes talking to one of the owners about which trees held which variety of apple, which apples were ripe and ready, and getting a general lay of the land.  From there we were free to explore and pick our apples right from the trees. 

32 month old signs TREE33 month old signs APPLEBoth boys were super excited for this new adventure.  At first, they were grabbing any apple they could reach.  We paused for a minute to talk about which APPLES we wanted to pick, and which we needed to leave on the TREES to keep growing.  We also talked about the apples we needed to leave on the ground because the were rotten, and covered in BUGS.  From there, they both did a pretty good job of picking great apples, and not tasting any apples they found on the ground.

ants cover the inside half of an apple on the ground

As we moved from one variety of apple tree to the next, Grammie shared her apple picking knowledge and experience.  When we got to the trees growing golden delicious apples, she told us to make sure not to pick the green ones that weren't ready yet, but to find the golden yellow ones.  Some of the them had been "kissed by the sun" and had spots of red, too.  These were, essentially, sunburned and area always found on the very outside of the tree, but they're safe to eat and don't taste any different than their un-spotted friends.

32 month old pulls apple from a low tree branch


32 month old peeks out under tree branches
Naturally, both boys tired of JUST picking apples before the job was done.  They were more than happy to use the giant open spaces near the trunk of each tree to stretch their imaginations while we finished picking though!  I heard snippets of conversation about magic wands, visiting each other's 'homes', and what creatures might be living in giant knot holes.   It was a fun moment for all of us adults to watch Mr. I. and Mr. L. play with out their realizing it.  A chance to witness their personality and inner thoughts unchecked always brings a smile to my face.

Of course, there was plenty of tasting (EAT) apples during our visit as well.

4 year old tastes an apple held out to him32 month old tastes an apple he holds

They played happily while we finished filling our bags and chatting about the yummy things we'd make with our pickings.  Then we walked back to the office to pay for our apples.  When we got there, they were using a conveyor to sort apples by size, it was pretty intriguing, so we stopped to watch for a bit.

two boys watch a conveyor belt sorts apple by size

Plenty of apples in hand, we climbed back into our car to head home for dinner.  A definite highlight of the meal was eating some slices of the apples we had a hand in bringing to the table!

What are your favorite ways to celebrate fall?


22 comments:

  1. It looks like you all had a fun day at the apple orchard! Enjoyed your post and your pictures.

    I love apples, fall, and apple orchards!

    Came over on Mommy Moments today.
    Hope you have a blessed day~
    Melanie

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    1. Thanks for stopping by. Apples are definitely a great part of the season!

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  2. What lovely photos! I love apple orchards and we have not been apple picking in years! I love celebrating fall with pumpkin and apple recipes and being outside when it is a bit chilly.

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    1. It's easily been 10 years since I last went. We had a blast though, and I can't wait to do it again! The "hoodie weather" is one of my favorite parts of the season, too! Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. I love all the pumpkin goodies in the fall, and all the fun festivals! Found you on the Manic Mondays Blog Hop! BreakForMoms.com

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    1. I like pumpkin in moderation, but fall festivals are definitely a must have! Thanks for dropping by!

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  4. I love going to pumpkin patches and decorating for fall, but this is the first year that I actually decorated the house for fall.

    liz @ sundays with sophie

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    1. I love the pumpkin patches too. We never decorate too much for Halloween, but we do put up a few things that will stay throughout fall. I'm sure as the kids get bigger and start asking , we'll start expanding our collection, though! Thanks for stopping by.

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  5. "Any chance we get to set aside the hustle and bustle of a typical busy week to spend time together making memories is a win in my book, and fall presents lots of opportunities." Love this...and I love fall! This weekend, I'm hoping to make a deep-dish apple pie while my husband watches (er, pours his soul into) a big rivalry football game on TV! ;) Autumnal blessings to you!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by. Apple dishes and football are some other great reasons to love this season, for sure!

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  6. How fun! Fall is such a special time and it is wonderful to get out there and create some memories! Thanks for sharing with #SocialButterflySunday! Hope to see you link up again this week :)

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    1. Absolutely a memorable day! Thanks for visiting. I can't wait to show you what's next.

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  7. I've always heard how much fun it is to do this!! I so wish we had one near us, it would be great to visit with family! Thank you for sharing with us at the #HomeMattersParty

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    1. It was a good family day - and it's a great trip when lots of different ages are involved. I highly recommend one if you find yourself in the right areas. Thanks for stopping by!

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  8. How very fun! Thanks for sharing at My Flagstaff Home!

    Jennifer

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    1. It was a fun trip - and a great activity for the various age groups we had with us. Thanks for stopping by!

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  9. Apple orchards are one of the best parts of Fall! Thank you for sharing your post with us at Mommy Moments last week! It was the top viewed link and will be featured in the link up tomorrow :) Congrats!

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    1. I agree - followed closely by the yummy things to do with the apples back home. Thanks for stopping by with such great news. I'm honored to be featured!

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  10. We did this last year and had a great time! I'm looking forward to doing it again this year! Thanks for sharing your experiences!

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    1. I haven't been in AGES, but it was fun, and definitely on our list to repeat again next fall! Thanks for stopping by.

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  11. I love orchards and other farms where you can pick your own fruit! I can't wait until my daughter is old enough to participate.

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    1. This is the first year we brought my boys - the youngest is about 2.5, and he did great. Last year would have been a struggle though! Thanks for stopping by.

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