Apple Jack Orchards is less a “u-pick” apple farm and more a destination spot. In autumn it is the place for friends and family to enjoy apples, pumpkins and family fun. I adventured there last week at my companion’s suggestion.
Exiting out of the cities and into farm country was a scenic ride on a crisp, sunny day. As we crested a final hill it was obvious that we had arrived. Below was a picturesque valley with a barn on the left side of the road, parking and pumpkin patch at right, and rows and rows of apple trees surrounding. The place was buzzing with hundreds of people who got there before us – families, couples and the occasional “worker bee” picking up fresh bakery items or ingredients for their evening meal.
Visiting an apple farm requires only two things – comfortable shoes and an appreciation for simple pleasures. The barn houses the Old Barn Gift Shop, Apple Market and Apple Pantry Café and Bakery. As I entered the scents of fresh apples, pumpkin pie and cinnamon gently perfumed the air.
Outside were the playground, animal pens and pony rides. Across the street were the pumpkin patch, “cow train”, hay rides, and donut shanty. I especially enjoyed watching families group together for picture-taking and helping a young lad how to figure out how to feed corn to a turkey without getting pecked.
Being divorced and fabulous, I snapped some photos to share. My companion and I also sat and chatted while having a leisurely sip and bite in the café. Having no children of our own in tow, we walked the grounds and stopped to observe other people’s kids involved in the different activities. My big find for the day was a jar of apple butter to use in a favorite harvest recipe (baked Pork Chops with Apple Stuffing and Apple Butter). I’ll be making it soon.
I have been fortunate to have always lived in an apple-growing state and enjoyed them. There is something nourishing about an apple farm that is always the same. Perhaps it is child-like wonderment that I can’t help feeling. Maybe it is the delicious smells that remind me of home. I can’t put my finger on exactly what that one special thing is, but I appreciate that Apple Jack Orchards gave it to me once again.
Thanks to my companion, too, for suggesting a great new place for me to blog about!
My eatery adventure for this week was right at home. I was served the absolute best breakfast burrito I have ever had! Thanks so much, Justin and Andy. Your recipe is great – keep up the good work!
Do you have an apple orchard memory that you’d like to share? How about an apple recipe? I’d love to hear from you if you do!