This past weekend my husband and I took the kids to the pumpkin patch and apple orchard. Everyone loves this time of year, with all of suburbia marching like ants in a line to the farmland for hayrides, corn mazes, and eat their weight in cider doughnuts.
Growing up in an agricultural community, I did just enough apple, cherry, and asparagus picking as a kid to know that it isn’t fun. It’s work. People actually get paid for what we all spend good money and weekend napping time to do. Trudging through an orchard, stepping over rotten fruit, and fighting crowd of other folks crazy enough to pick their own produce for sport? Add kids who fall in love with only the fallen, stepped on apples, kids who want to be carried halfway back through the orchard, and kids who have to poop the second we get as far away as possible from the porta potty, and it’s no wonder we need a smiling picture of fresh-faced children holding bright orange orbs to forget the horrors of the trenches of fruit picking. Overpriced bushels of apples and glossed over memories are our reward for ringing in fall the way Facebook demands.
In spite of my bad attitude, Saturday was beautiful. We were in shorts and tees, my husband didn’t have to work, and with the kids being older, I wouldn’t have to carry anyone. Our doorstep needed pumpkins, we love apples, and my husband’s enthusiasm for fruit picking had me excited for our day, even if I was only in it for the fresh air, hot chocolate, and photos.
We hit the pumpkin patch first. The kids talked the entire way about the gigantic, big-as-a-house pumpkins they were going to choose. We agreed supportively, letting them choose any pumpkin they wanted, as long as they could carry it to the car, because we’re geniuses, that’s why. As soon as my boy’s first large pumpkin crashed to the ground after two steps, so did the visions of monstrous pumpkins. Here are the pumpkins they carefully and happily chose to tote home.
After paying for our apples, we headed home. We polished off two apples between the four of us, with the kids playing “Bite, bite, pass.” We adults shared a look and a smirk, remembering other things that are passed around fairly, and hoping our kids stick to apples.
We’ll visit the pumpkin patch again next year. I’m going to want to see how big of a pumpkin they can carry, and I like to laugh at my kids slipping and falling on decomposing fruit. Maybe the pumpkin patch is fun, after all.
Did you go apple picking this year? Whip up a batch of this Easy Crock Pot Applesauce with your harvest!