I grew up on the East Coast and have such fond memories of apple picking. We would drive up the Hudson from NYC, ride on a hay ride, drink the most scrumptious cider and eat numerous homemade sugar and cinnamon doughnuts. I used to eat so many apples in one day I had a hard time looking at them in the weeks that followed! I have lived in San Francisco for more than 15 years and have been wanting to pick apples every year. The apples are ripe earlier on the West Coast, mid August, so I kept missing it. Finally, this year we made the trek to Sebastopol: two moms and four kids. We went to Gabriel Farm.My friend is a kindergarten teacher and a font of knowledge for all things u-pick and kid related. After a rocky departure, we arrived at this family owned orchard, greeted by the lovely grandparents, who were visiting from Ohio, to help with the harvest. We picked a variety of apples, checking periodically to make sure the little ones didn’t pick too many unripe or wormy pieces of fruit. The Mexican guys working on the harvest were very sweet with the kids and let them play with the hose. It was a hot day and we did get to drink some special Asian Pear Cider that was from the Orchard, but alas no doughnuts! The apples were $2/pound for organic which initially seemed pricey, and we laughed as we drove away.
“I can’t believe I spent $60 on apples,” I said to my friend as we try to eat organically and make ends meet in this the difficult economy.
You would think you’d get a deal since they don’t have to transport them! I support local farmers and got over the sticker shock quickly enough. It was a fun activity on a hot late-summer day!