The other night I picked apples in the dark. There is an orchard about 40 miles away from my house where anyone can go and pick fruit for free. The story I heard is that a farmer grew fruit trees and when the property was sold, the new owner had no interest in maintaining the orchard. Hence, free.

I was heading back from town and didn’t want to miss the opportunity to get free apples for sauce, pie and winter eating, so even though the light was failing, I figured I’d go. By the time I’d found the place and gotten stuck in the mud not once, but twice, it was dark. I couldn’t see any apples, and was about to give up, when a couple pulled up in a pickup. They cautioned me to stay on the main track to avoid getting stuck, and led me to the apple trees.

I’d had my doubts about whether there’d be any fruit; apparently the trees are often picked clean by this time of year. However, I was in luck: there were many varieties of apple trees laden with fruit. Most of the apples are tiny, and many of them are lacking in flavor (the result of a lack of pruning, I surmise). However, I tasted apples from each tree as I went, and ended up with about a bushel of delicious, if tiny, fruit.


More apples

I am in the process of making apple sauce, which is slow going with such small apples. I was, however, pleasantly surprised at how non-wormy they are. Picking in the dark, I couldn’t really select for blemish-free fruit. But probably close to half of these apples are pristine. I have a (less severe than it used to be) phobia of worms, so it always takes a certain amount of courage for me to cut into fruit with holes in it.

Worm-avoidance method

I was trying really hard to not have to see a worm. I left a colander of apple scraps out when I left the house for a couple of hours, and when I returned, there was a worm among the peelings and cores. It didn’t even bother me. Getting better all the time!


About ea

Reluctant technophile, immoderate lover of words, food, cogitation, the sensory world. We are not done evolving and there is no free will.
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1 Response to Apples

  1. hrockwel says:

    I picked apples today, too! They were much uglier than the ones you picked in the dark. Go figure. I made a huge batch of applesauce, but gave up dealing with all the apples since I picked over 16 pounds. I’m giving some away. How funny that today was apple day for both of us. 🙂

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