Monday, October 13, 2008
Last year we had driven through Minnesota just before the peak fall colors. This year we hit it at the peak. Most amazing to us were the orange maples, along with the bright red sumacs. Driving around the Twin Cities made us want to pull over for pictures, but of course we couldn't.
Jenny suggested another way to enjoy the colors, a visit to an apple orchard, so we loaded up and headed to Apple Valley and the Afton Apple Orchard. It turned out to be quite a treat!
As we got there we pulled into a huge parking area filled with other fall frolickers! The first stop was to the booth for apple tasting, where they had all of the apple varieties. Walking down the apple line we tasted eah variety and decided what type of apples we wanted to pick. Our favorites were Honey Gold and Harelson. Next you picked up some apple bags, which looked kind of small. but held a lot of apples!
Paying two dollars to enter we had our hands stamped and then got on the hay wagon, which took the "apple pickers", around the orchard, stopping as you shouted out halt to the driver. We first picked the Harelsons and then walked to the raspberry patches to taste their sweetness. Everywhere people were tasting and picking the fall harvest. High electric fences warned the deer to keep out!
Walking down the road we passed Connel Reds, Honey Crisps, to name a few. The apple trees were interspered with pumpkin patches filled with children picking out their Halloween decoration. Tired of walking, and carrying our harvest, we waited for the hay wagon, then reembarked and continued until we got to the Honey Golds.
Tree after tree was filled with golden apples. We tasted one as we strolled and picked until our bag was bursting with sweetness. We felt like children again and thanked God for such goodness.
Returning to the start point we went to the apple press, where the pressers told us 200 apples were needed for one gallon of juice! Walking into the store we got some pumpkin butter and apple butter, before paying for our apples and heading home.
All in all a day of color and sweetness and fall foliage. A treat for all the senses.