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Wednesday, October 30, 2013


Earlier this month I went apple picking with friends.  The orchard that we went to was great and I was able to pick and purchase apples which were used to bake my first ever apple pie.  This orchard had many pumpkins as well, but I waited with those because I was planning a trip later to another orchard and would get pumpkins there.

This follow-up trip happened last week and wasn’t as much fun as the first.  The apple “picking” experience at this orchard was much different.  While it was a lot of fun to watch the conveyer belt in their store move the freshly picked apples along the line where workers packaged them neatly into boxes and plastic bags, that wasn’t enough to enhance the experience. 

In addition to picking our own apples, the first orchard we had visited allowed us to bag our own additional apples in the store.  After choosing the size of paper bag we wanted – peck or half-peck - we could then select our apples from the bins in the store.  The orchard last week had the apples pre-bagged in plastic bags sitting in small apple baskets.  The experience was rather cold and impersonal, sort of like going to the local supermarket and grabbing a bag of apples off the shelf.  The first orchard engaged us more in the process and was simply a much better experience, but as I said, I wasn’t searching for apples this time.  My quest was for pumpkins, one to bake into a pie and one to carve (ever since I was a child I’ve had a Jack-O-Lantern for Halloween).  This is where I was most disappointed.

Their pumpkin patch was very sparse.  It may have been that the pumpkins were picked over by the time we went, or maybe they simply didn’t have many, but they had very few pumpkins and many were broken and scattered throughout the patches.   We walked through three patches before I finally found a pumpkin that would be good for carving into my Jack-O-Lantern.

I never did find a pie pumpkin because when they harvested them this year, they mixed them in with all of the others and even the workers at the patch couldn’t find them.  I ended up having to buy a pie pumpkin at my local Farmer's Market. 

The pumpkin I found at the patch to carve and the pie pumpkin 
bought at the local Farmer's Market.

On the upside the décor of the store had some wonderful displays and there was an amazing quilt show being held on the weekend we were there, but even those things weren’t enough to make this an enjoyable outing.  

In the Charlie Brown Halloween Special, Linus was searching for the most sincere pumpkin patch, so that the Great Pumpkin would visit him there.  The pumpkin patch I visited last week was definitely NOT sincere.  Next year we will simply choose a different orchard or maybe we'll make two trips to the first one we visited to this year.

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