MySecretGarden

U.S.A., Washington State. USDA zone 8a. Sunset climate zone 5

Friday, November 12, 2010

Last Apple Blossom

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The season required a final act, a great finale… I knew where I wanted to go. I wanted to go to an apple orchard. BelleWood Acres was chosen on the Internet as one of the best orchards in Western Washington. What a great time we had there! John and Dorie, the owners, took their time to explain to us what was where and answered our questions.
A leisurely stride between rows of apple trees on a sunny day could be therapeutic. But, if you have two pre-teen age boys, you don’t have a choice but to ride a golf cart! Fun!
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Most of the apples were already picked and ready to be crunched and munched. Among others, we found our favorites – Jonagold, Honeycrisp, Fuji and Gala. As they said on the site, tasting was obligatory! What a pleasant duty it was! The best description of the fresh apple taste that I heard comes from my sister, Natasha, who says that when you eat a recently picked apple, you feel like there is no pulp, just juice. This is exactly how I felt eating BelleWood Acres apples: you bite, and the fruit’s flesh turns to juice almost without chewing.

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Something new. For the first time, we tasted a late season apple named Orin. “Introduced from Japan, the sweet Orin is a true delicacy. In Japan it is customary to slice and share these apples with family and friends following meals and for special occasions. It has a subtle pear-like flavor that is a treat to remember”. (Description is borrowed from the farm’s site BelleWood Acres ). We all, four of us, gave Orin our top vote. We picked the smaller size fruit so the boys could take them to school in their lunch boxes. As we understood, Orin apples are not sold in stores. And, what about varieties such as Idared, Belle de Boskoop or Sonata? This is one of the reasons I like to visit apple orchards. There is always something unique there, some heirloom varieties not found in retail stores.

Something old. An apple press, scales and all those things which make you feel like traveling to the past in a time machine.

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Something to eat. We bought, beside the apples, raspberry honey, apple cider vinegar and blackberry jam. Apple turnovers had a heavenly taste. Our boys gulped caramel apples in no time.

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Something for the house. The farm’s store was full of practical, pretty things. The Chinese lanterns that I chose will brighten up my kitchen long after the apples and honey are gone!

Physalis alkekengi (Bladder cherry, Chinese lantern, Japanese lantern, or Winter cherry; Japanese: hōzuki). It is native from southern Europe east across southern Asia to Japan. It is a herbaceous perennial plant growing to 40–60 cm tall, with spirally arranged leaves 6–12 cm long and 4–9 cm broad. The flowers are white, with a five-lobed corolla 10–15 mm across, with an inflated basal calyx which matures into the papery orange fruit covering, 4–5 cm long and broad. It is a popular ornamental plant, though can be invasive with its wide-spreading root system sending up new shoots some distance from where it was originally planted. (from Wikipedia)

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Something to learn. As a family of avid salmon fans (salmon fishermen and salmon eaters) we took notice that the farm is certified Salmon Safe! For those who want to learn about salmon lifecycles, there is a poster at the bridge over Ten Mile Creek.

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Meeting my old friends. At the end of rows of apple trees, it was so neat to spot the old fashioned crabapples which were planted there for pollination. How many childhood memories are connected with them! That was the type of crabapples which had the smallest apples. My husband and sons had never seen such tiny apples before. I made them try the soft sweet and sour fruit. Delicious! It’s on the crabapple tree that I saw what I called the last apple blossom. Even though it was late autumn, there was a subtle reminder that spring will be here in no time.

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All in all, we liked the place! Neat. Friendly. Refreshing. Charming. We might go back pretty soon since the apples which we brought are disappearing very fast! I also want to get more cider, try their apple pies, apple chips and peanut butter cookies.

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Thank you John and Dorie for the wonderful day! It was a perfect grand finale for the season!

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Copyright 2010 TatyanaS

26 comments:

  1. Thanks for taking us along with you! What a nice outing. I have never heard of the Orin apple, most interesting. Wonder if they will ever sell it in stores??

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  2. Sounds like a wonderful trip. Now, I want to go and eat an apple! Carla

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  3. I think I gained ten pounds reading this posting....

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  4. What a wonderful fall outing. Fuji apples are one of our favorites. I think Jonagolds are good too. Of course, we don't get them fresh picked living way down here in s.e. FL, so that's a bummer.

    Thanks for the little trip to the countryside.

    FlowerLady

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  5. Lovely photos and you had a nice trip.Apples are so so good at this time of year. Fresh picked, sweet and juicy. It is pie baking time here and I have gotten bushels to use for pies and crisps. All ready made tarts and dumplings. So many delicious things to make from nutritious apples. I must sound like an apple grower commercial, but I do love them in any way I find them.

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  6. Thank you all for your nice comments! I certainly should go back since just several apples left!

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  7. Tatyana, what a wonderful outing. I have not been apple picking in a long time, and many of the orchards by us do not along you to pick off the trees anymore, just out of bushel baskets.

    Great buy for home decor.

    Eileen

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  8. A very mouth-watering post, Tatyana. What a great place to visit. Apple pie....yummy!

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  9. It's odd that an apple orchard can be "salmon safe." I'd never think of orchards affecting fish. The orchard I visit most often near me doesn't have 'Orin' apples, but they sound delicious!

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  10. Very mouth-watering post and photos especially all the apples looking so sweet and juicy! What a wonderful place to go outing with your family!

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  11. It sounds as though you had a wonderful day! There is nothing like fresh apples in the fall- not to mention all the other great apple treats! I have Chinese lanterns that I picked from the back field on my hall table. I think they are neat- I wish they weren't invasive so I could plant some in my own garden. Have a nice weekend!

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  12. Eliza, they have a creek on the property and this is what they say about salmon safe certification on the farm's site:" Salmon-Safe works with farmers to encourage the adoption of ecologically sustainable agricultural practices that protect water quality and native salmon. The farm certification program is focused on management practices and the degree to which a farm's operations are compatible with best management practices for avoiding harm to streams and salmon populations. Management practices are addressed in six primary areas: riparian area management, water use management, erosion and sediment control, chemical use management, animal management, and biodiversity conservation". There is a link to the site in the post.

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  13. Looks like heaps of fun. Thank your for the introduction for 'Orin'. Never heard about it before.

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  14. Those apples look so delicious! Have a great weekend.

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  15. Nice trip.
    I may plant next year, a apple tree in my garden. I have just to found the right place.

    And I am back on Blotanical, with my new blog.

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  16. I need to go to this orchard! Love the local apples so crisp and yummy and the PNW has had perfect fall weather for visiting. Love the crabapples, I miss seeing them all over.
    Crazy for a blossom to be there!

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  17. Those apples look mouth-watering! Looks like a lovely place to visit. We also have a small apple orchard near us, though not nearly this big. But it's a great place to visit with the grandkids for the day, and of course, their apple doughnuts can't be beat:)

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  18. Very nice post! I want to go pick some apples too.

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  19. Lovely post, it is always a visual delight stopping by.

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  20. Honeycrisp is a great apple, I wish our grocery store carried.

    Sounds like a great day out! Can't go wrong with an apple orchard. :)

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  21. My most favorite Fall outing! What wonderful memories you elicit.

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  22. You had such a beautiful day at the apple orchard, I wish I could have joined you! But I had a similar day at a nearby arboretum, be sure to come check it out on my blog!

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  23. Hi Tatyana, what a great fall outing. When our kids were younger we also visited an apple orchard every fall. We must reinstate this custom! It's such a shame that most apples available these days have been picked too early and stored in plastic bags till they're ripe (at least here they do that). There is nothing like a ripe apple off the tree - you're right.

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  24. thank you Tatyana, and thank you John and Dorie. I have been putting off going shopping all day, now I will turn off the computer and go buy some apples. cheers, catmint

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  25. Hello Tatyana, new reader here but I will surely be back. Thanks for the memories. When I lived in Northern California I always looked forward to the families annual weekend trip up to apple country. I now live in southern France and am preparing for our upcoming olive harvest....not the same but fun too. Keep snapping those great photos too.
    Rees.

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  26. Wow! It look bounteous for sure!

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Thank you for stopping by and for your comment! I appreciate your time! See you soon on your blog!

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