Saturday, October 1, 2011

Perfect Pickin'

It's the first day of October, and if we had paid any attention to the forecast, we would have stayed in the house and waited out a cold, wet, and dreary day.  Approaching midday though, the clouds were there, but the rains was still holding off.  "Off to pick apples!" our fearless leader cried!
And his trusty soldiers obliged…after much whining at home (no whining once we got there, though, true to form).
Bellewood Acres is a local apple orchard in Whatcom County that we’ve gone to several times in the past few years. John and Dorie are fantastic hosts—just about all of the operations buildings are open to the public, and you can look around to see how the apples get picked, washed, sorted, packed, made into cider, baked goods…everything. They have a great gift shop with lots of items from local artisans, they’ve got taste testing, and they’ve broken ground on a restaurant, even. We rode a tractor train out to the new U-pick pumpkin patch, with the driver being one of the owners (John). It was fun to hear him talk about the operation, and where they’ve come from, and what their vision is for the future. Kinda wish we didn’t disembark at the pumpkin patch, but the patch was very nice too. It’s the most beautifully kept pumpkin patch I’ve seen in Whatcom County—not muddy at all, and a wide variety of pumpkins.
Without the tractor, we had to get back to the farm store using a little muscle.
But of course, before we checked out, we had to get apples! In the past, Bellewood has not allowed U-pick; everything was done for you and you bought it at the store. But after years of hearing their customers say they “wanted the full experience,” they opened up a few rows for U-pick. We decided to pick only Honeycrisp. They’re a spendy apple, but FANTASTIC. Very crisp, sweet, and juicy. With each bite you take, you have to swallow twice—once for the juice, and once again for the pulp. Yummers. And to think, if we hadn’t gotten to pick them ourselves, we wouldn’t have these photos in the orchard…
An apple orchard is a perfect place for a tree pose…

…or two…
It was a great day. Minimal whining and bickering. Heck, we even came home and played good old fashioned Monopoly for about three hours with the boys. It was the first time we’ve played with them (1) where it wasn’t “teams” (i.e. us helping them with all the little nuances); (2) we finished the game; and (3) we enjoyed it…mostly. Except when people were losing. Owen beat the pants off of all of us. Totally.
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Cutzi said...

You know we love Bellewood! Looks like you had a great day.

Thought I'd give you another tip too, in case you just want some apples and not the full experience. Justin and the kids have been going to Sm'apples on Willey's Lake Rd. and picking honeycrisps for $1/lb. Also, Small's produce (down from Boxx's) has them already picked for $1/lb.

Melinda C. said...

Good tip! For round two of Honeycrisps, we'll probably go that way. The U-pick were $1.75 a pound, I think...and we "needed" pumpkins, and we "had to have" cider...ugh. Spendy, but at least everyone had fun.