Archive for October, 2012

We started off the month with an apple picking trip down the coast and a lovely day of putting up apples in the form of applesauce and apple butter. Read all about it in part I of our apple adventures.

Later in the month, we took a trip up to Portland and saw our friend TheSailor. She, we found out, has an old-fashioned cider press, and we couldn’t resist more apple fun.

An orchard all to ourselves

TheSailor knew an apple orchard that wasn’t being picked, so we trekked over there one damp morning to pick some apples for cider.

What happens when three girls eager for apple cider have free reign in a largely-unpicked orchard? Why, they fill up the entire back of the station wagon with apples, of course! What you can’t really tell from the photo is that there’s a pile of apples not even in a bucket in the right corner of the trunk there after one of our boxes fell apart when we tried to pick it up. We’re thinking we had about 200 pounds of apples in the car.

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Apple picking. Apple sauce. Apple butter. Apple cider. Apple chutney. We’ve had an appletastic month!

We went apple picking at the beginning of the month so we could make our annual batch of applesauce. In past years we’ve gone up to Sebastopol, but the orchard we used to go to changed their u-pick rules this year, so we were in the market for a new apple orchard.

An apple-picking excursion

We drove down the coast towards Santa Cruz and found the Swanton Pacific Ranch’s apple orchard, a tiny teaching/research orchard a bit off Highway 1. They pack 12 varieties of apples into maybe 16 rows of trees. It’s a low-key affair with no one there staffing it: you let yourself in the gate, pick up a small paper bag (unless you plan ahead and bring reusable shopping bags like we did), find a row that has a “Ready to Pick” sign, and when you’re done picking, weigh your apples on their scale and leave your money in a box.

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