Sunday, September 24, 2017

Apple Picking

My family and I went apple picking today.

I grew up in California, and apple picking was not a part of my culture. California is a very agricultural state, but there aren't many apple orchards. In retrospect, I don't know why I didn't do more strawberry picking, or for that matter artichoke picking as a kid, but "pick your own" was never a big part of my childhood.

When I moved to Massachusetts in 2005, I quickly learned that apple farms are a huge part of the local culture. After all, Johnny Appleseed was born in Massachusetts. Apples are kind of a big deal.

My family and I try to go apple picking at least once a season, but we flake out and miss some years. Every time we make the effort to drive out to a local orchard, and pay the fee for picking a bag-full, I think it was worth the cost and effort.

Today we went back to Carver Hill in Stow, MA. We had a soft spot in our hearts for this place, because our oldest son Henry, who is now 9, lost a tooth there when he was 6. Our younger son, who is 5, has a loose tooth. We wondered if he might lose it today while biting into a field-foraged apple, but he did not.

I love apple picking. I am always impressed by the fecundity of Apple trees, and by the taste of a fresh-picked apple. I feel while I'm roaming an apple orchard, that if I could only ever eat fresh-picked apples for the rest of my life, that I would always be in pretty good shape.

Today at Carver Hill, I tried many apples, fresh from the tree. My kids roamed the width and length of the orchard, excited to try to identify the breed of every tree they passed. I picked apples, some great, some good, some probably horrible. I put them all in my bag, satisfied that I was enjoying a bit of special New England culture.

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