This past Sunday a few brave souls ventured across the river to go apple picking. We ended up at Eckert’s Belleville farm, mostly because the farm we chose in Augusta had run out of apples last week so honestly I didn’t want to chance going and them having run out again. Also, an apple orchard that runs out of apples. Yeah. That one made me scratch my head as well.

We were well fed at a pre-picking brunch and ready for the masses. Honestly, I thought that this one would be a bit more quiet since there is way more for kids to do at the other farms but this one was very busy. There is a market, a restaurant (in which I assumed I could not eat) a custard shop, and camels. Yeah, camels. I haven’t figured out the tie between camels and orchards yet. There were goats, alpacas and ponies too.

But we were here to pick apples and pumpkins. The lines went quickly which was good. I felt like we were queued up for a carnival. Well, we kind of were. I’m sure going to a smaller farm, or maybe being below 3 feet tall it would have been the most amazing thing ever. It was a beautiful day though, and I appreciated the clear blue day.

Obligatory couples photos, including fantastic myspace shot with the husband ignoring my snapping. That’s how we roll. I’m generally snapping a photo of something so he just ignores it. What a sport.

We had about a three minute ride to where they dropped us off. And that was the long route. I’m still pretty unsure on why we took the “long way”. It was nice to have a ride, because at it turns out I got 20 lbs of apples. Then again, why else would I bring the husband if he wasn’t there to carry my stuff? Actually, he picked out some great apples so that was helpful. I guess I’ll keep him.

Oh glorious apples! Unfortunately, we were not super happy with the suncrisp where we were dropped off. Some of them were good but most of them were a bit meh. They did make for a pretty photo though.

We found some golden delicous which is fab. We even found a great tree that had not been pillaged yet. Some were high up, but we had a pretty tall crowd. If all else fails, send the small girl up into the tree. This was her first time climbing an apple tree, and it was very hilarious. I’m still laughing.

First you have to help the girl up into the tree. Thank goodness for adult supervision. I’m surprised we didn’t get kicked out of the orchard. That would have been a first for me but hey, I’ve climbed many a tree and I believe everyone needs to climb a small apple tree in their life to be completely fulfilled.

Tree success and there were a lot of good ones at the top. No friends were injured in the removal of the cute girl from the tree. However, I almost took an apple to the head right before this picture. My hands were busy snapping photos and were not ready to catch apples!

The best part of pick your own, is that you get to sample what you are getting. It was good to be able to taste these little ones just to see what I could make. I know by name sort of what might work, but until you actually taste the product it is hard to see if it would be really good in that use. I’m planning to make apple butter mainly, and the apples I got will do. I got some golden delicious (as tasted above) and they were pretty good.

The pumpkin patch was also open. It was okay, most of the good pumpkins were already at the front of the farm picked. Since they sawed them all off the stems anyway, there was no need to really pick one up in the patch. You’d just have to carry it back!

Overall it was a really great day. It was nice to be out with friends and do something fun, even if a bit corny. I’d love to do this at a smaller or organic farm next year, but that would take a lot of planning. The day was beautiful and the company fun.

As I said, I got 20 lbs of apples, and 2 zombie pumpkins. The zombie pumpkins are supposedly good for cooking. It will really be an experiment. Don’t worry, I’ll document it either way. I’m always up for a challenge. Coming up in a future post: what happens with my purchases!