Thursday, October 9, 2008

Do you work here, or are you just over-zealous?

For the first time in weeks, the thermometer touched 70, and the skies delivered us from cloud cover into one of those crisp, clear October days they tell you about in books and movies. The hillsides popped with carnival colors. Leaves crackled underfoot. Flocks of geese flew by overhead. I spent the afternoon at Lone Maple Farm, picking apples.

It wasn't hard to fill the boxes I brought. Year after year, I'm consistently in awe of how loaded those little trees are. Barely ten feet tall, laden to the point where their stems will give way if one apple is plucked from a cluster. This tree is a Gala (my favorite), but I also picked Macouns and Cortlands. The Galas will fill my last five quart jars with slices in syrup. The Cortlands will become a dried-apple experiment (more on that tomorrow). The Macouns will (purportedly) last up for five months if kept cool and damp, so they'll be spending time in the basement.Look at those colors!
While I waited for Farmer Mike to drive up with the wagon and take me back down to the store, I thoughtfully munched a Macoun, and photographed my haul. Someone actually asked me, "Do you work here, or are you just over-zealous?" Over-zealous, guilty as charged.

Here comes my ride!


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