This is a photo heavy post. Don't say I didn't warn you!
When I was a teenager, my parents owned a house out in the country with 30+ acres of land and a mini fruit tree orchard right in our backyard. Like most teenagers, I didn't appreciate it as much as I should have back then. Now that we are trying to make healthier choices about the food we put into our bodies, when I learned about a local orchard that does not use any pesticides or sprays on their fruit, I said - yep, that's going on our fall bucket list for sure.
We told Lincoln we were going to go pick apples and set off on the long drive to visit Wagon Wheel Orchard in Kansas. It turned out that we were visiting on the last day they were open to the public for picking, but we didn't let that dissuade us.
Once we arrived, I popped Addie in my carrier and we headed off into the orchard that stretched as far as the eye could see. Lincoln had the time of his life running down the trail.
Along the way, we saw apples here and there, but the trees were mostly picked clean. Remember - this was the last day they were open to the public. After a little while, we came to the realization that those who had come before us had likely cleared out all of the fruit.
Nevertheless, we persevered and managed to find one small bag's worth of apples to take home with us. I had planned to spend days and days making cider and applesauce and anything else we could dream up, so the scenario didn't go exactly as planned. But you know what? I don't mind. I didn't have the time for all that cooking, anyway.
Lincoln didn't notice or care that there weren't tons of apples to choose from - he was too busy shrieking "APPLES! PICK APPLES!" and running from tree to tree with Andrew on the search.
Lincoln enjoyed putting the apples in our bag so much that we may have switched out the apples from time to time and let him load them again. He was getting such a kick out of it, we couldn't resist.
He was also fascinated with the ducks and other animals on the farm. He tried to share our apples with the ducks by throwing them at the cage. Whoops.
And when it was time to go home? Well, somebody was less than pleased. The entire way to the car he wailed "PICK MORE APPLES!!!" I guess if we're looking at the bright side, we found an activity he really enjoyed!
And this little miss? She was perfectly content to just hang on for the ride.
Next year, we'll be the first people in line at the beginning of apple-picking season. It was a great first experience for all of us! We still made some delicious things with the bag of apples we did bring home - these homemade healthy Krispy Kreme doughnuts (in muffin form because we don't have a donut pan) were really yummy with diced apples on top.
And, my mom helped me make a big batch of apple and pear sauce for Addie to eat with her Sili Squeez with Eeeze.
Apple picking is definitely going to be on our fall bucket list every year! What other fun family activities do I need to institute as traditions while our kids are young? Let me know your favorite in the comments below!