Apple Picking at Shafer Orchards

Every year in September we travel up to Michigan with friends to pick apples at Shafer Orchards.  We’ve done this as a tradition for quite a few years, sometimes squeezing in a few wine tastings at the local wineries.  This year the weather was chilly and rainy, the perfect weather for apple picking!

BarnThe barn at Shafer Orchards

As usual, the Shafer family is friendly and welcoming, showing us where the best apples are.

ShaferMr. Shafer leading the way

Since I am interested in using the apples mainly for baking, I stick to the variety that works best and is in season, Golden Delicious.

GoldenDelicious

For a reason I can’t quite figure out, my husband is a big fan of Red Delicious apples so a few of those go in the bag as well.  Since the Jonathan and Jonagold apples are also in season, we snag a few of those for snacking.  After filling the bag halfway I swear that I am going to source actual wooden bushels for use next year, I think the bags encourage bruising and they tend to roll around in the trunk more often.

Upon arrival, Mr. Shafer made the “mistake” of showing one member of our party where to find a variety called Molly’s Delicious.  I’m in the mood for a snack so I pick one off the tree, take a bite, and…

…Oh. My. Goodness!  It’s like candy that grows on trees.  Molly’s Delicious is the best tasting apple I have ever had.  It’s crisp and sweet and the skin is delicate.  If you can find a source for them in your area, I encourage you to try them at least once.

RedDelicious3Red Delicious apple trees

After picking a bushel and a half of apples (three bags) we are done and head out.  Before leaving I also pick up two acorn squash and some honey from a little “farm” down the road.

Our group heads down to the home of FloraLia honey and it is my idea of paradise.

There are goats:

GoatsOne of these guys tried to eat my pigtails when I pet him

and llamas:

LlamaThe brown one does not look happy!

and chickens:

ChickensChickens2
and turkeys:

Turkeys

and everything is slightly messy in the most charming of ways.  It’s like discovering a little fairy garden in the middle of the vineyard.

After our traditional dinner of pizza, we head home and I’m rendered speechless by the technicolor sunset.  What a beautiful end to a day that started out cold and rainy!  I snapped some pictures from the passenger seat and I just had to share:

Sunset1

Sunset2

Sunset5
So, what did you do this weekend?

Advertisements