I finally got up the nerve on Wednesday to stop at the farm I drive past at least twice a day and leave a note on the door asking if they'd mind some help with their apple trees. A little history first. When I was growing up, a family friend worked for the University Extension, and was an expert at apple trees and their hybrids. Clyde eventually got us set up with a mini-orchard, four trees in our backyard. They were all unusual varieties (well, they were back in the 80s, now you can find these anywhere), and I developed a love of the growing process.
Fast forward 20 years...I sell and deliver auto paint to the body shops in Dane County, which means about 125 miles a day just going in circles. There are many places I pass by quite often, and love to see what's going on, especially in terms of gardening adventures. This particular farm had changed hands over the past couple of years, and this summer I noticed the five apple trees in front of the barn weren't getting pruned as they had been. As summer turned into fall, the tree became so loaded with fruit that it lost a branch, which then hung there without being trimmed or even picked up. I was concerned. And a little bit nosy, too.
So I tucked a note in the door of the farmhouse just saying if they needed someone to harvest some of the apples, I would be happy to relieve them of that chore. Twenty minutes later, my cell phone chimed and it was the son of the farm's owner, apologizing for not getting back to me earlier (!) but he had to check with his folks to make sure it would be OK for me to harvest the apples, as he was renting the farm from them.
Thursday, my son and I went down to the farm (only about 5 miles south of where we live) and harvested as many apples as we could reach, about 40 lbs...first thing I did was slice into one, as I had no clue what type of apple they were, other than that they've clearly got some golden delicious somewhere, as they haven't blushed one bit, and we've had two hard frosts already. These apples are very sweet and firm, and definitely taste like goldens, but they are also HUGE! (See pictures in Kitchen Adventures Photo album)
The oddest thing about this whole adventure is that the owner's son's name is Scott, same as my DH. Odder still is that I've adopted another apple tree (this one's only a block away), and it's owners name is also Scott. What are the chances of that?
Free applesauce will taste great 'round about February, when the snow is all crusty and grey, and we're all just itching to dig in some sort of dirt! Now I've officially got three batches, as we have two apple trees right here on our property...Going to have to reorganize the deep freeze, again. :)