As soon as the weather starts turning cooler, leaves start falling, and the farmer’s markets pick up, I am reminded why I love fall so much! It just makes me feel comfortable and happy like an old friend. I started thinking apple orchards a little earlier than usual…maybe due to a few glorious fall days…or the fact that my stock of apple sauce from last year is almost out. So we made plans.
Since we are just back in the Hudson area we had to find a new favorite spot. I think we nailed it! White Pine Orchard in River Falls WI. It was fantastic! I can’t tell you how many times I told Tony and the boys just how beautiful it was. Plus, it is ORGANIC! Look at these apples! They were the biggest apple goodness I’ve seen.
Somewhere along the lines we learned that we could get really cheap apples from orchards if we picked apples off the ground. Aka, “windfall” apples. Since we are all about apple sauce with the age of our kids it makes sense to use not quite perfect apples for the cost savings. Espen had a great old time gathering apples off the ground. I was a little worried about bees, but he did just fine. He had his own bucket and did his own thing.
Not all orchards will let you pick off the ground, so it is smart to call and ask ahead. I have found though that a lot of apple orchards appreciate you helping “eliminate” what would become waste for them. We bought over a bushel of apples for $10! That’s a years worth of apple sauce that is way better than store bought for next to nothing. Plus, did I mention this stuff is organic?! We also picked up a couple apple ciders and a few bags of apples off the tree for eating and baking with.
I just could not get over the beauty at White Pine Orchard. Pictures just can’t capture it, but it was classic midwestern countryside.
One barn over, was another organic farm, Rising Sun Farm. It looked sooo charming!
I wish I had snapped a picture of the gardens! They were amazing. Let me try and paint a picture. We walked over this little hill and below us was this huge rainbow shaped garden. Each row of vegetables ran the rainbow like a strip of color. Taller plants in the back–corn, brussel sprouts, carrots, beets, lettuce, etc. Then there were a couple sweet green houses and a chicken coop with a chicken run. So up my alley!
The barn had so much character.
Did I mention it was just a wee bit pretty?
If you are in the area, check out White Pine Orchard and Rising Sun Farm. (FYI: This coming weekend is the last weekend for “you-pick” apples.) Oh, and I should also mention that Rising Sun Farm likes to go very natural and feel the breeze on their skin…which might be the real reason I didn’t get a picture.
Happy orcharding to you all wherever your favorite place may be!
I always wondered what happens to all those apples on the ground! Most of them look pretty good to me! Last year I went to the orchard with some friends and their kids, the littlest girl was about 18 months and toddling all around, grabbing apples off the ground and going in for big bites. Don’t know if the orchard is okay with that, but it sure was cute!