Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Apple Picking

     Hello Friends- I can hardly believe that Thanksgiving is over and we are home! We had quite the whirlwind long weekend- a visit to an apple orchard, turkey, loads of visiting with family, making sour kraut, more apple picking and more turkey! The weather was amazing - I'm quite sure that summer is in fact still here- perhaps just wearing some woolen socks in the evening- but still here none the less!

We kicked off our Thanksgiving weekend adventure out in an orchard in the North Okanagan - the Orchardist is a friend of my Father- In -Law's and he gave us a tour around part of his nineteen acre property.  It was such a beautiful setting with orchards as far as we could see and then just at the very furthest of sight shimmered the lake. We picked apples right from the trees- still warm from the sun- to snack on as well as a box full of plums for my Mother- In - Law's famous plum cake! 

    The Little's had such a great time running around, playing in the dirt and puddles- plus did I mention all those apples we got to eat! Living in the heart of a big city this is what I long for- wide open spaces where my kids can run around un encumbered by worry of cars or other people. Only the birds, the wind and an occasional tractor were the sound track to our afternoon.

    Agriculture runs deep on both sides of our family- I know I have spoken of our love of gardening here before- and all those pumpkins are evidence that my parents have green thumbs! It goes back beyond my parents and grandparents though and not just with my family- the Mr. comes from a family with ties to the land as well. Although we both grew up in the Okanagan - surrounded by these same orchards- this is the first time I have ever paid heed to what is happening in them. As a kid they were just always part of the backdrop or perhaps a handy place to filch a snack from while walking home before dinner. Now I see these orchards for what they are- delicate eco systems full of life in addition the apples.

   I think as I grow older I am more mindful, obviously, about were our food is coming from and how many miles it takes to get to my table. I must admit that these are about as close to zero mile as an apple can get! I wonder then why is it that the grocery store still sells apple from New Zealand? Why do we need to sell apples from half a planet away when we have these in our own back yard?

     By the end of the outing we had several boxes of apples to pack into our truck and a variety of species at that- Gala ( our favourites) Auroras as well as Spartans. This week I will be busy making apple sauce, apple cake and I am really excited to try out our new food dehydrator and make a few batches of apple chips.

      When we were done in the orchard we headed home to get the turkey into the oven- the Mr. and his dad took our Littles out for ice cream. The rest of the family arrived shortly before dinner was on and we had a great evening getting caught up and watching our Little's perform for their Auntie and Uncle. We know that this will most likely be our last visit home before Christmas and so we really did enjoy every moment- it is always difficult to leave and come back to the city. A part of me is still sitting under a tree in the orchard though soaking up the sunshine and listening to the quiet!

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