Apple-Picking Season in New England

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Most days are cool and crisp now; the nights are growing colder. The leaves have donned their autumn colors and farmer’s fields have been harvested and sown with winter crops. It’s apple-picking season here in New England, one of my favorite Fall activities. While David worked on Blue, I joined Lin and family for a traditional autumn outing. We headed off to the Stowe Farm Orchard on an overcast Sunday morning where eight generations of the Stowe family have worked the soil and grown crops for eight generations ... since Ithamer Stow purchased some farmland in West Millbury, Massachusettsthe in the mid-19th century.

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Despite the gray skies and an occasional sprinkle, the place was humming. Besides apple picking, there was a huge pumpkin patch, a petting zoo and farm animals, pony rides, hayrides and more. The sweet aroma of homemade pies and fudge wafted through the air. We indulged in many of the activities guided mostly by our sisterly silliness. I mean who could pass up a ride on the miniature Moochoo train, especially when one of the “cow cars” was named Moo Linda.Lin quickly reminded me that “linda” is Spanish for beautiful.

 A ride on the Moochoo

A ride on the Moochoo

We took a pass on the bounce house, the mechanical bull and the climbing wall in favor of the more sedate “spooky hayride”. I’m not a horror fan, but I managed to contain my composure as the hay-loaded wagon was dragged by tractor along a well-worn “spooky” path. Not afeared in the least, 13-month old Daphne, promptly fell asleep in her Dad’s lap.

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We finally got down to the business of apple-picking. It’s well into the season and there were lots of drops on the ground. Colored plastic ribbons identified the apple varieties and we headed for the Macouns … a crispy, crunchy variety, recommended for delectable eating. The entire orchard smelled sumptuously sweet, earthy and apple-y ... a nostalgic, comforting perfume for this born and bred New England girl.

 Nothing like your very first taste of a newly picked apple ... even if you do only have 4 teeth!

Nothing like your very first taste of a newly picked apple ... even if you do only have 4 teeth!

I couldn’t help but remembering picking apples in Tasmania and southern Chile … the climates are not all that dissimilar, though they’re a bit more temperate in winter.

 An "honesty" apple stand in Cygnet, Tasmania

An "honesty" apple stand in Cygnet, Tasmania

We picked a half peck of apples, but I think we ate as many as we picked. Empires and Cortlands were also ready for harvesting and we picked a few thinking we’d use them for some scrumptious homemade desert later on, but I doubt they’ll last that long. Savoring the sights, smells and fruits of the seasons as they roll past are some of life’s best treasures. Making memories is the best of all.

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