'Tis the Season! {Apples, Apples, & more Apples} 🍎🍏🍎

in vegan •  2 months ago  (edited)


Happy Monday everyone! I always love the beginning of the week since the gang brings some delicious stuff to the #fruitsandveggiesmonday table for us to enjoy, but it is even more fun when I get to bring something to share, as well! Though it still feels like summer, we are in full apple season here in Georgia. I think you all know how much I LOVE going fruit picking by now. Last year we went up to North Georgia too late to actually pick any apples ourselves, so this year we didn't want to miss the fun experience!


My mom, boyfriend and I got up early to make the drive up to Mercier Orchards yesterday morning. There are quite a few different orchards in the area that offer U-pick, but we opted for this one this time around. My mom had only ever driven by before, so she was excited to get to enjoy the whole experience for once. We enjoyed the leisurely trip up, and arrived to our foggy destination.

I snapped a few pictures walking from the parking lot up to the store. I always think foggy pictures are neat to look at, plus it was fun to get a before and after as it lifted pretty quickly as the morning went on. We thought we might have beat the heat, but no such luck there. At least the day started out cool and nice. If I had been by myself I might have even taken the opportunity to do a little meditation overlooking the water since it had such a nice serene vibe. :)

However, we meant business, so on to purchase our entry to the orchard! They only do picking on the weekends and tend to get quite busy in the height of the season. We wanted to make sure to be there right when they opened up at 10. The market and restaurant inside open at 7am, though, so many people get there early to enjoy a bite to eat and some warm cider before heading out to the orchards. I think I'll save those shots for another post perhaps. Today it's all about the orchard!

We only had to wait about 15 minutes before getting on a tractor to hitch a ride over to the part of the orchards where they were doing the picking that day. The ride is actually nice as a guide tells you a bit of the history as you make your way there. Merciers is family-owned for four generations and in their 76th year in business. I think she said they are the largest cider producer in the state. She explained how they use the banged up fruit to make the fresh cider, with nothing added to it. The owner passed us by in his Jeep as we were making our way there. I always enjoy getting to support family-owned local businesses like this one.

Obviously the fog was completely lifted and sun was shining for our picking excursion! We had access to lots of the orchard, but the main varieties ready for harvest that day were Candy Crisp, Braeburn, Mutzu, and Red Delicious. There were a lot of rotten apples all over. I imagine with the weather still being unseasonably warm it is impacting the fruit a bit. We still had plenty of wonderful fruit to grab, though!

I just love being outside and connecting with the trees. It is wonderful to be able to get your food straight from the source like that and be mindful of the energy it takes to produce. Though I enjoy it more when it is quiet, it is great to see kids out there learning those lessons, as well. We are so disconnected from our food sources these days that I think a lot of people forget what real food actually is. I know I have a much better appreciation for it when I can get out in the garden or into an orchard like this.


20 pounds each!

On the fitness side of things, getting out and doing manual labor is the best workout, too! The heat was enough to make you sweat, but the effort of picking and lugging around the bags is enough to get your heart rate up a good bit. Got a nice bicep pump as usual, haha! Farming is HARD work. As with many other fruits and veggies, they do all the harvesting by hand. Seriously, give your favorite local farmers a pat on the back and support their efforts next time you see them. They totally deserve it!

After about an hour of picking, our bags were full and we were ready to head back down to the market. In the picture above you can see a house nestled in the trees. Our guide on the way in was saying they were just finishing it up and it is on the outermost border of the orchards. What a killer view they have! I would love to wake up to this every day.


No fog now!

We perused the store for a bit before heading back home. By the time we were leaving the parking lot was packed and we were pretty worn out from getting up early and picking in the heat. Totally worth it to come home with 50 pounds of fresh-picked apples! Besides the 40 pounds we picked, I grabbed another bag of the Ambrosia apples from the store because I really enjoyed that variety. There was a lovely lady offering up samples of each type they had available, so you could try before you buy. Now it's time to get down to the business of making all kinds of yummy apple dishes...

I feel blessed once again to have access to such a wonderful bounty. I tend to go a bit overboard in my purchasing, but I would much rather spend my money on local grown goods like this. It also forces me to take the time to get in the kitchen and make some homemade items that I sometimes take for granted how easy it is to purchase at the store. One big batch of applesauce is already made, and now I'm looking up some other items to get to work on here when I finish typing. Some friends are loaning me their dehydrator, so dried apples are on the list to save for later!

They always say eat an apple a day for good health. I think we'll be set for quite a number of days. They are packed with fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that are so great for overall health and wellness. By making any goodies at home I also have control over not adding anything to my dishes to take away from their natural healing benefits. If I need any extra sweetness I still have tons of dates from my mega date purchase a few months back to use, but these beauties seem to be plenty sweet and delicious all in their own right! I'll definitely try to keep you all posted as I work through our harvest. 🍎



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Autumn is really a season of abundance 😍

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Oh my God you’re like, such a blogger.

Not sure why that came out that way and I nearly deleted it more times than I decided to keep it.

Thanks? I think? 😂

Haha, no I have talked with a few people about that. I don't feel like I'm a full on "writer" in some senses of the word, but I have hit a pretty darn good groove writing about what brings my little plant-loving heart joy. 😉

What a beautiful spot! It looks so tranquil. I quite understand why you would have like to stop a while. Happy apple-ing :D

Beautiful post on your apple-picking excursion. I enjoyed seeing the orchard and reading your explanations through the process. I would love a sample of your homemade applesauce!

I love apples, and supporting local farms is the best! This looks like it was a fabulous day! :)

Your sure good a good bounty of apples :) I to love when there is a mist of a fog to the mornings makes an almost magical or mystical feel, I also like supporting local where possble so many of the are struggling to survive with the big companies sin every area

Haven’t worked in a market gardens art school and on weekends for a couple of seasons i know for sure its hard work but also good work :)

We always had an abundance of fruits from our trees when we lived back in New England. Dried, preserves, and just plain gave away to friends and neighbors (plus the deer and a couple of porcupines). Miss my garden.

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Very beautiful landscapes! Especially with fog))

It was sunny when we left our place, so the fog up there in the edge of the mountains was a pleasant surprise! :)

Lovely post with beautiful view and a bunch of apple!

Cheers!

Thank you! It was a lovely morning to get outside and enjoy the day!

Such an accelerating experience! Wow! I could feel the energy as I was reading it , lol. We love apple picking and we are planning to go soon as my daughter's schedule the weather here permits. We had a blast last year!

Altough we don't get that many apples, because they are very expensive on the farm where we go to. I posted about tit last year. You really got a looooooooot!!! I can't wait to see what you are going to do with them. The country there is absolutely breathtaking. And still like summer, oh my gosh! You are so lucky!

You also deserve an AWARD!!! Well I must give you at least three, although you deserve a first PRIZE 😀
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That really is a killer view! I can just imagine some hobbits running around there and getting into trouble.

Enjoy the apples! We just made applesauce here (pressure cooker!)

Haha, I bet the hobbits like them apples. ;) I just made apple butter in the pressure cooker yesterday--so good!

LOL! That hobbits comment just made my morning! :) HAHAHAHAHA.

Figured you'd like that. ;)

Now that is an epic adventure. I have not been to an apple orchard in ages.

It really is a blast to go! We hit the berries multiple times in a season, but usually only make it to the orchard once so I try to make the most of it when we get there. :)

That's a lot of apples! As they say an apple a day keeps the doctor away and I say the doctor will be away for some time lol. What an amazing place truly blessed.

That's my plan! Healthy from the inside out. :)

You AND the kids are reminding me it is time to hit the orchard this weekend. What I will do with 30 pounds of apples I never know every year.

It is a great active outdoor family activity so I can’t complain. Nice haul!

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Yesss! I'm excited for you and I just went, haha. It really is always a fun activity for everyone. I was shaking my head about our 50 pounds, but l'm working through them pretty quickly. Especially after I get the dehydrator tomorrow. ;)

I went blueberry picking a few weeks ago and that was hard enough.
I eat an apple for breakfast everday so I would use that many. Envy apples are my new favorite. I like crispy and tart ones.

Oooh, I love blueberries. They won't be back in season here until next summer, and we only picked a few buckets this year so I didn't have enough to freeze. Still plenty of strawberries and blackberries frozen, though, and I'm not complaining about some yummy fresh apples. I'm not sure if I've had Envy yet. The Braeburn were a little tart this time, and nice and crunchy, too. :)

I'm so envy of you! I hope some day I can have the experience of picking apples, or any sort of fruits!

I hope you do, too! I can't think of a much better way to spend a nice day. :)

Fingers crossed!

Ooh! Quite a haul! Have you ever made apple butter?

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I just made apple butter yesterday for the first time! Wow is it good! I'll try to post about it later in the week. Just pulled some carrot and apple muffins out of the oven now for my first round of baking. :)

Yum yum yummy!

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Apples are always great! My early varieties are done. Next year, I am hoping to get some apples from the newer trees that are supposed to produce later. Right now, it is passion fruit and pomegranate time😜

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Oooh, pomegranate...

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