Temptation! The apples seduced me twice this month: we eagerly loaded everyone in the car with all our snacks, water bottles, absurd baby accouterments and extra toys for the hour-and-twenty-minute drive to indulge in the harvest.
Two Saturdays at the orchard may seem like a lot, but until we can get the kids to match the feverish drive of our apple-picking obsession, we’ll have to gather our annual cider crop in several waves. After all, the two hundred and fifty pounds we harvested still produces hardly enough cider to fill a fraction of Justin’s charmingly dumpy collection of mismatched beer bottles. In the kitchen closet behind the pantry shelf, the various shapes of amber bottles of cider will ferment on the floor in row after row like a tomb of jade soldiers (if some were skinny and others chubby.)
Leonard Orchard in Medford supplies several green cider varieties, Newtown and Twenty Ounce Pippins, as well as an overabundance of perfectly sweet/tart Golden Delicious. There were also brilliantly red Fijis, but we missed all but a small amount which clung to the topmost story of the trees (and were too few to bother with the ladder.)
Our first visit was met with generously stocked trees, their downward branches carefully pruned to offer glowing fruit obligingly toward Selah and Ozzie’s reach. Two weeks later the orchard hosts were less hospitable, their remaining apples peering shyly down at us from their lofty perches. Justin was at the very top of the ladder searching for the tail end of the crop, while Selah and Ozzie darted up and down the bottom two rungs to transport these finds into some cardboard boxes we got from the grocery store. Asa howled throughout both apple harvests (he does not like the baby carrier.)
For the past couple of years, both Justin’s and my work has been like apple picking: we see a small opportunity, we take it (if it doesn’t have bug-holes, that is.) The job is short term and we keep picking opportunities, eventually filling our economic needs like a forty pound box of apples. However, as apple season closes this month and we transition to pumpkins, we’re also hoping to switch to another kind of searching that’s a lot more like pumpkin picking. Picking pumpkins is slower, you’ve got to wade through the options and not only pick one that’s ripe and ready —it’s got to have the right “personality” for you since this will be the one you carve up and display.
In the same way, this month we’re continuing our search for a farm with an intentional step: a “walk through the pumpkin patch,” if you will. We’re spending the next few weeks driving to several locations that have been on our heart: meeting with realtors, friends, and potential employers to scout out a future home. I will share about our journey on Instagram Stories!
I have some doubts and fears about doing this: I feel pretty tender and raw about all the times we've thrown ourselves toward an opportunity, only to find that it wasn't quite right. Would you pray that I would have the strength to put my heart out there anyway? Would you pray for Justin and me as we sort through our very different preferences?
In all your harvesting this fall, whether it be apples or pumpkins, may you have enough courage, enough hope, and enough slow time to be satisfied, plus an abudance to share.