I can’t tell you how many times we’ve thought about going apple picking. This year, we finally did it.
We made the effort to reserve a car a month in advance, and we spent a bit of time asking our friends about their favourite places (thanks everyone!) and tooling around the web to investigate orchards outside of Toronto.
We wanted to travel to a place that would prove the Goldilocks-equivalent of “just right,” a pick-your-own orchard and pumpkin patch without too much of a circus or amusement-park vibe.
On the coldest-yet Saturday of the Fall (about 9 Celsius for the high), we got out our coats, hats, and gloves and set out on a 40 minute drive to Applewood Farm Winery in Stouffeville, Ontario.
We got there nice and early, a bit before 10am, parking just outside the entrance to the farm. (It got crowded an hour later, so we were glad we arrived when we did!)
After we paid the minimal entrance fee, the kids tackled the giant “hay bale” in the quaint, compact play area.
Tobes braved the ramp as we waited for the tractor to arrive to cart us out to the orchards.
Bliss! Their “petting zoo” consisted of a pen with three engaging sheep!
As the tractor pulled up, Bea grabbed a 20lb bag to “pick her own.”
After an exciting tractor pull [Sorry, we don’t flash and ride!], the kids got right to work on their “twist and pull” technique.
Of course, they had to sample the Honey Golds before they picked them.
A few of the Honey Golds were still wearing their “Leafs Hats,” as Tobes said.
After working so well with the Honey Golds, Tobes gets the Honey Crisp -off down to a science.
Here!! Have one! Don’t you want to try a Honey Crisp, too?
Still crunching and picking simultaneously! The tart, red Empire apple is the favourite of the day.
When you rub the Empire apples on your coat, they go from cloudy purple to shiny red!
And, oh, look! Someone lost her already-loose tooth in one!
Skipping down between the Honey Crisps and Empires while singing the Star Wars theme.
Bea delves into the depths of the larger Cortland trees for some pie apples.
It’s the Cortland Double Trouble! Shall we put it in our October 1oth Thanksgiving pies?
No, No! Tobes says. Let’s get all Empires. Then, they can be Star Wars Thanksgiving pies!
Engulfed in Cortland branches, but eating only Empires, now.
Spartan? Who are you calling a Spartan?
Who are you calling a Spartan, fuzzball? [The photographer [moi] was wearing her leopard coat!]
After we packed up the trunk with apples, we took a detour through the easy-to-tackle corn maze.
Then, off to the pumpkin patch to pick out pumpkins for our Thanksgiving [and, hopefully, Halloween] decorations.
[OOPS! Too busy pumpkin-lifting to snap any snaps in the pumpkin patch!]
Then, fresh from pumpkin picking, Tobes leads the way back through the corn maze to the playground.
A quick hello from the little green playhouse.
And a how-do-you-do apple pickers from the tiny blue barn.
Finally, a few “opening strategies” on the giant chess board before hitting the road.
The apples are in the basement “cooler,” now. But, have a look at these beauties on our front steps!
Thanks Applewood, we had a fabulous time!
But…..Oh no! We totally forgot to hit the apple Winery before we left!
Weren’t the kids asking to “go back again next year,” anyway?
“Or how about next weekend?”