The only fruit tree on our property when we purchased it was a lone mature cortland apple. That first autumn there weren't many apples. We picked a few with our long handled apple picker but my memory of the crop is foggy.
Each year but one since then the tree has produced a bumper crop. Or so we thought until this year. Many of my neighbors are saying that their produce is ripening earlier this year than in most years. That seems to be true of the apples as well. We've had heat and abundant moisture. (Almost too much rain for the sweet corn crop.) Here on our ridge top meadow the apples have been falling, branches hanging so low we duck under them going to the chicken yard. It seems a shame to waste such bounty. We'd given more than 10 5 gallon pails to our neighbors and had given the split or pecked apples to the chickens. We'd eaten a few. We've made some juice. But what we needed was to find a way to share in a big way.
Our Amish friends had taken apples in past years but they had trees of their own. This summer their trees hadn't faired well. I brought them 6 5 gallon pails of apples on Tuesday and invited them to come this week to get more. On Wednesday they arrived… Eli, Lovina and their 3 daughters. (the 5 boys stayed at home to do chores as they often had the opportunity to come out to our place when their dad did chores here and Lovina felt it was the girls' turn.) Picking was slow so I suggested Eli shake the tree. Wahoo, that did it. Here is what they were able to take away after one short morning.
|a view into the buggy between front and back seats (there were even pails on the floor of the front seat)|
|the entire bottom of the buggy is full of apples with bags and boxes perched on top|
While we shared a lunch together indoors, Randy and Pearl enjoyed the sweet clover in our eastern meadow.
The weather was perfection and our apple endeavor and shared meal were a gift to us all.