Are you ready to say goodbye to summer? While we are not completely ready to say goodbye to summer, we can’t ignore that some apples which are typically not ready for several more weeks are already ripe and ready to be picked. Therefore, this week our family picked 100 pounds of apples at a local u-pick apple orchard. Every year we go to this orchard and pick a couple buckets of apples. Last year we picked 4 buckets of apples and this year we picked 5 buckets of apples. Each bucket of apples ends up being about 20 pounds of apples for the mere cost of $12.00 a bucket. If you did the math, that ends up being about $1.67 per pound.
You may be wondering why we are picking such a large quantity of apples? The reason why we pick apples and this many is to make applesauce. We pick enough apples in order to give our family the supply of applesauce we need to feed our family for the entire year. This year we picked one more bucket of apples than we did last year as our family is growing and we are eating more applesauce.
The type of apple we prefer to pick for applesauce is the Gala apple. While there are many varieties of apples, the Gala apple makes superb applesauce. The Gala apple is perfect as it has excellent flavor and is sweet enough that we don’t have to add any sugar to our sauce. In fact the only thing we add to our applesauce are spices including cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. Being able to make applesauce with no added sugar is important as we want to feed ourselves and our children the most healthy and tasty applesauce that we possibly can.
This is really the perfect activity for the entire family to participate. Even your children will enjoy picking apples especially if they know they will be able to eat the apples or applesauce you make. In addition, part of the fun of picking your own fruit is that you get to sample it along the way. The farmers encourage you to taste the fruit before you pick it so that you are satisfied with what you pick. We feel this is an important lesson to teach our children as they will grow up learning the importance of knowing where their food comes from and will appreciate their food more if they can have a hand in helping with the harvest. It took us less than hour to pick all 5 buckets of apples. This will give us a year’s supply of applesauce and the peace of mind of knowing what exactly is in our applesauce. Both of which are very important to us as we are trying to be more conscious of what is in the food we eat.
We are working in our journey to be more self-reliant and have two apple trees planted on our property. We have a Fuji and Pink Lady dwarf apple trees that are 2 years old but are not yet producing enough apples to meet our needs. Even when they are fully mature they may not produce enough apples to meet our needs. We have thought about planting some additional trees in order to meet our needs and become more self-reliant. Until then, we will continue to enjoy the experience of picking our own apples, supporting a local farmer, and contributing to our long-term food storage.
We encourage you to explore local u-pick farms in your area. You don’t want to wait too long though. Many of the fruits such as apples, pears and peaches have been available earlier than normal due to the heat we have had this summer season. Stay tuned for our upcoming post where we will share our recipe and how we can all of the applesauce these apples will produce. Thank you for stopping by and visiting Sunup to Sundown! We’ll be back soon with another recipe or update regarding our garden or our journey to becoming more self-reliant.