Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Showalter's Apple Orchard Trip
Today we wanted to recap the day trip we took to go apple picking in the mountains of Virginia. I'll warn you the post is a bit image-heavy as we wanted to share the breathtaking scenery and memories we made.
Tim planned the day trip to Showalter's Orchard and Greenhouse because it's located just about 20 minutes Northwest of James Madison University, where his daughter goes to school. Tim, Brandon, Basil and I packed into the car early and headed up to JMU to see Stephanie's new dorm room and head off to the orchard.
Once there, we picked out a wagon and decided on two bushel-sized apple baskets to get things going. We figured with both children taking apples back with them and the two of us using and eating them, this would more than be enough to get us through.
The orchard wasn't too busy and at times it seemed as if we had the endless rows of apple trees completely to ourselves. It made for amazing views, some foolishness, and incredible opportunities for taking photos.
Tim and Brandon showed off their juggling skills, to Basil's amazement. I think it might have been more of a competition — but there was no clear winner, haha. I just love the game face look of the "start" photo to the left and the guys with fierce concentration faces to the left — this was serious business I tell you. You may have already seen the stop motion film short I put together with the full set of photo stills from their apple juggling.
And a little more serious business between these two hams...
While picking, Stephanie spotted this delicate little bird's nest right among the apples. It was such a diamond in the rough and reminder of the nature surrounding us.
I will admit, while I was in charge of the wagon, this also happened:
Thank goodness I was in good company who just laughed it off. For those of you who don't know me, I'm extremely clumsy. My mom always says my "motor skills" weren't the best as a small child — this has seemed to follow me through life and continues to be a big joke between Tim and I. He likes to call me his mess. I concur.
Basil was in his element at the orchard. He quickly became the center of attention among the few other folks there and when we were off by ourselves, we took him off leash to run around and let loose. The orchard owners had a Brittany puppy of their own roaming the grounds who just fell in love with Basil and followed us everywhere. He even introduced us to the resident billy goat!
It's always important to me to try to photo-document some of these trips we take. Below are some of my favorite family photos we shot while there:
We ended the day with two full bushels of apples. We've got lofty goals of recipes and projects to take on in order to use them up (in addition to the good old simple apple a day) — some of which we've already tried and others we hope to tackle in the coming weeks. Thus far, you may recall Tim's hot apple cider toddy recipe and a sneak peek of the apple dog treats I made over the weekend. As always, we hope to share it all as it goes down.
If you've made it this far, thanks for taking the virtual trip with us! We highly recommend getting out in the crisp weather for an adventure in apple picking of your own. I cannot describe how fresh an apple tastes straight off the tree. Tim likes to claim, you haven't tasted a real apple until you've picked it from the tree.
To find a local orchard in your neck of the woods, check out this clever orchard directory filled with locations, resources, and info on apple varieties!