Reading Stephanie's blog last week, really got me in the Halloween spirit.
Suz and I had no plans for Thanksgiving this year, for the first time ever. We decided this would be a great weekend to partake in the fall harvest, so we drove up to Carluke Orchards to pick apples and pumpkins. Normally I would buy pumpkins from a roadside stand, but I've recently discovered the joy of wandering a mucky, weed-infested field in an attempt to find the best pumpkins I can for $5 each.
It beats paying $7 or $10 for a pre-picked monster-sized gourd. I don't know why some farms charge such an absurd amount for a pumpkin. Has the cost of pumpkin-growing gone up? Has the price of rainwater risen? What about the cost of sitting around and doing nothing all year while the orange guys grow all by themselves? Nope. That bothers me, and that is why I will gladly spend my money at a farm that does not take advantage of the season.
The first thing we did was hunt for pumpkins. We decided three would be good this year. After the cart was loaded, we went off in search of the sweetest, ripest, juiciest apples in all the land.
MacIntosh are my favourite, and I think they make the best pie, and apple crisp. The MacIntosh was first bred in a small town called Dundela, near Iroquois, Ontario. I have driven past this forgotten orchard numerous times when visiting the in-laws. The old trees are still there, but the land grows wild. There is a decrepit building on the property, abandoned. It's sad to see the birthplace of the MacIntosh apple so desolate.
But Red Delicious apples were in season this weekend, so with our basket loaded in our cart, we headed off into the orchard. We picked about 10 pounds of apples. One pound for pie, one for apple crumble, one for apple crisp, one pound for eating, and 6 pounds to chuck at passing cars.
For 20 bucks, we got away with 3 big pumpkins, 10 pounds of wasp-free apples, and 90 minutes of harvest fun in the warm sun. And we didn't have to fight the Thanksgiving grocery store chaos.