And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. ~ Kahlil Gibran

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Salvaging the Season

I have already confessed how poorly the garden did for us (and how poorly we did for the garden) this year. Still, with cooler temperatures, and my new journey back to the land of light, I have been trying to salvage what I can of the growing season. Since it is autumn in MN, that means apples.

Monday was picking day, and I so wish I had pictures to share with you of Little Sprout helping me pick. Dad has an apple tree in his back yard with wonderful apples, so we headed there after I got home from work in the morning. Dad brought a chair out so he could sit and watch while I took my first try - ever - with the apple picker. It's actually a little late in the season for these apples, I should have gotten to them a few weeks ago. With Dad in the hospital, I was a little busy.

Since it is so late in the year, many apples had already fallen, and I stood in apple mush, with hundreds of bees, hornets, flies, and other flying sugar lovers happily buzzing around my ankles. Little Sprout had an issue with this, despite my reassurances, so she opted out of helping me hand pick the lower apples. She was all for helping once the picker came out, though!

This isn't our picker, but ours is about the same. So imagine me, threading this up into the branches of Dad's overgrown and much loved apple tree, hooking around an apple, and then engaging in a strange version of tug-o-war with the tree in an attempt to get the apples without either snagging and breaking branches or shaking the tree so much that other apples fell to the ground.

I would fill the basket, and then lower it to where she was standing. She would carefully count how many apples I had managed to "catch" as she took them out, and then carefully carried them over to the grocery bags and gently set them inside. She was so sweet, chanting to herself "gotta be gentle, gotta be careful, four apples this time, gotta be careful".

After filling 4 grocery bags of apples, I started working on cleaning up the garden for the fall. I was too tired to do much, though, and I gave it up. Promising to come back later this week and work on the garden more, I took my apples and headed home.

Today, Mr. Barefoot got me an apple peeler/corer/slicer for an early anniversary gift. Thank you, honey! Eager to start processing the apples, I set things up and started playing with the new toy. Before I knew it, I had every spare corner in the fridge full of beautifully peeled and sliced apples. There were apples in bowls on the counters. I had peelings and cores and juices all over the counter and the floor and myself. Most importantly, I still had pounds of apples sitting on my floor, untouched.

I think I should have planned that a little better.

So I decided that I needed to start making things with all those apples, just to get them dealt with.

Did I mention that in the middle of all this I had to drop off and pick up Little Sprout from Preschool?

Furthermore, did I mention that we were flat out of any ingredients that might possibly be used to make anything good with said apples. Well, there was stuff for apple crisp. One. One lonely apple crisp. That didn't make the slightest dent in my huge pile of apples.


So I went to the store. Covered in flour and apple peelings. I bought ingredients. I made pie filling. And I canned it.

And I still have 2 gallon bags of apples in the fridge, and 3 grocery bags of apples on the floor. And two bags of peelings/cores for juicing later.

Oh, help.

1 comment:

Gorges Smythe said...

I see walnuts and apples going to waste everywhere this year. Since there aren't any acorns to speak of, I guess the squirrels will eventually put the walnuts to use. When I was a kid, perfect strangers would sometimes stop and ask about fruit that appeared to be going to waste, and often, it would be given to them. I think those times will soon be here again, but I don't look for people to be so generous.