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This morning, chamaeleoncat and I drove out nearly to Kingston, to a pick-your-own apple plus other vegetative entertainment farm. After a lunch at a local ex-pub (featuring a reasonably good french onion soup), we parked with the dozens of other patrons and went forth to pick apples in the fresh and smog-free air!

The staff at Campbell's Orchards made sure we knew how to pick apples properly. (Turn the apple upside down, and it'll come off without knocking other apples off of the tree.) Then we wandered into the designated rows of lush orchard, the air filled with the ambient perfume of ripe apples, the branches heavy with fruit. It didn't take much time to pick a ten-pound bag of MacIntosh apples ($5), and so we went back to pick more things.

The raspberries ($2/pint) were the most tempting, and odds are good we'll both have eaten our share by the end of tomorrow. Picking raspberries where many other have picked before is slow, steady work. The sky was blue and the sun steady, so I was particularly glad I remembered my hat. The ripe berries were hiding inconspicuously underneath leaves, or deep within the bush where few had bothered to search. A few at a time, the berries piled up in the punnets until, at least half an hour or more later, they were full. Of course we ate some along the way too.

Picking tomatoes required negotiation, as the smallest available unit was a bushel, which involved far more tomatoes than I could possibly use. The man at the cash register gave me the container and said he'd charge me by weight when I returned with as many as I wanted. The tomatoes were untamed, untrellised, wild on the ground, which meant there was wastage everywhere. Still, it didn't take too long to fill half the bushel with the weight and the lovely smell of freshly-picked tomatoes. I still have more tomatoes than I will ever use, but it only cost $3. And I hope I will use them all, for tomato sauce freezes well.

The other vegetative entertainment available included a corn maze we were too tired to do. There was also a shop selling pre-picked vegetables, cider, fudge, pies, and other locally-produced confections.

The trip back would have been perfect if it hadn't taken us three and a half hours of driving in stop-and-start freeway driving to return home again afterwards.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 27th, 2004 05:11 am (UTC)
Pick-your-own places are always such a treat. When I'm at home I like to eat my apples cold, but there's nothing like an apple that's warm from the sun, right off the tree.

Can you tell I used to sneak into apple and pear orchards after school when I was a wee bitty and snitch fruit? : )

But you didn't see any zombies, either, which makes the trip all the better.
(Deleted comment)
Sep. 27th, 2004 06:28 am (UTC)
C. thinks we'll make it to all the major Canadian tourist destinations once we leave Canada and come back to visit. It's hard being a tourist while living full-time in a place. I wonder what equivalent excitements I'm missing around here?
Sep. 30th, 2004 07:55 am (UTC)
the best day EVER
I'm so jealous! what a great day - aside from traffic, oh well. My mom has the best and simplest spaghetti sauce recipe - she roasts tomatoes (the skins slip off easily afterwards), onions, and garlic together, long and slow, then blends them all together, using olive oil to gain the desired consistency. Add salt and pepper, and tear up basil by hand and stir in just before serving.

B makes it, too. but we didn't have a very good tomato year.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )