It's official, autumn has arrived; the season of the apple. Today marks the fourth day we will spend in the orchard, and I truly hope to keep my very proficient pickers to under fifty pounds. You see, we will be spending yet another day in the orchard this weekend, but I couldn't resist welcoming autumn with a day spent among friends and apples.
"Here's a little apple tree.
I look up and I can see,
Big red apples, ripe and sweet, big red apples, good to eat!
Shake the little apple tree.
See the apples fall on me.
Here's a basket, big and round,
pick the apples from the ground.
Pick the apples from the ground. Here's an apple I can see,
I'll reach up, it's ripe and sweet.
That's the apple I will eat!"
from: Autumn: a collection of Poems, Songs and Stories for young children
What have you made with all those many, many baskets of apples, you ask? Nothing, yup nothing, save ten centerpieces for Grandpa's wedding and then some applesauce, but not a single apple has yet to be preserved for later consumption. I have a good forty pounds sitting in my office/guest/craft room waiting for all the other more fickle items to be preserved, and then the applesauce making will begin, if there are any left by that time.
This is our second year loving the friendly family run operation of SLO Creek Farms and of course their abundance of apples in many varieties. On the central coast of California we are often baking in the sun just about this time of year, and so it feels even more necessary to mark the changing seasons in some way that reoccurs each year, and really only belongs to this season. Apple picking has become our tradition, and it seems to fit us just right.
Speaking of mild climate and hard to distinguish seasons I find myself in the absence of stunning fall foliage, so I will continue to gaze at the golden hues of sunflowers and fennel, while crafting with a box of fall leaves my sweet cousin sent from the northwest last year, handmade leaf paper perhaps?
Wishing you the best of this season, the cozy warmth of returning sweaters, the smell of a constant pot of applesauce on the stove or a fresh apple pie (oh, yes thank you) perhaps the first of the fires in your wood-burning stove, and a fresh basket of seasonal stories to read to some young ones while snuggled up on the couch.
Happy Autumn to you!