Tuesday, March 13, 2012

She's apples.

Once upon an Autumn, 11 years ago, we visited this farm for the very first time and the Jonny's were ripe on the apple trees. We walked the rows of the orchard and gave Miss Indi, then a four month old baby, a suck of an apple. She loved it. She made all sorts of excited noises. And we knew we had to buy this place and become apple farmers.

In the beginning it was just apples.
We have 1000 trees and about 40 varieties.
Then, after a few years of drought, we added the chooks, some more fruit trees and the vegies.
We pride ourselves that we are a mixed family farm.
That we have lots of chickens in our basket.

But we still have an apple on our Daylesford Organics logo.
We are apple farmers at heart.

And I have to admit, that when apple picking time comes along I am happiest of all.
I love walking down the quiet rows of the fruiting orchards.
I love the feeling of the apples coming off neatly in my hand.
I love the sound and feeling of emptying the filled picking bags into the crates.
I love how the newly lightened branches seem to bounce back so high after we ease them of their load.
I love how the apple is a symbol of health and happiness.
And of course I love having bowls and baskets and crates of apples in the kitchen and in the cool room.

We've been munching our way through lots of apples over the weekend.
We've been enjoying pies and cakes and compote too.

Not long now until cider making day.

I am not even slightly a religious person, but for some reason I never forget to acknowledge and thank the apple trees for their delicious fruit after we have picked it. To think about the work they have done for us and for the birds, and then to watch them lose their leaves and fall asleep.

I remember having an apple in my school lunch every day of my childhood, I love that my kids will remember growing and picking theirs too.

Do you love apples?
Did you have an apple a day in your lunch?
Do you have a favourite variety? A favourite apple recipe?
Are you a red or a green apple eater?
Are you on trend with the cider drinking thing?

Happy autumn peeps.
xx

44 comments:

  1. absolutely - but only organic - I hate the glossy fake apple. I bought the most gorgeous apple fabric a while back.... apples = innocence and purity to me! xx

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  2. Love apples! Granny Smiths for my lunchbox and pink ladies for arvo tea or in crumble. Went to the Harcourt apple festival on the weekend and had a great time:)

    Selby

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  3. I am eating an apple as we speak. A Gala from the local supermarket. I have two Gala trees in my yard and the little toddlers in the neighborhood LOVE to eat the apples fresh off the tree-not even needing to wash them - never anything stronger than soap is sprayed onto the trees and only then when the aphids get really greedy !~!

    I hope you have a better season this year after the rains did you in. I am waiting eagerly for the news that you have replanted and all appears well for now...

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  4. In my mind you really are living the life :)
    As children our parents always took us to the orchards to pick our own fruit, we would spend hours there filling our buckets. The taste straight from the tree just can't be beat.
    My grandparents were huge on drinking ACV with honey every day and it's something I picked up from them...3x a day with warm water, yummy! Believe it or not, I think it's helped me lower my bp enough to have stopped taking meds. Would love to try making my own.

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  5. our family are totally not religious,
    but I like to think we are very spiritual.

    A family tradition of ours that we all see as VERY important is a Japanese custom of saying
    "Itadakimasu" every time we eat a meal together.
    You cannot find a direct translation into English.... but it is a recognition of all the steps that have brought the food to your table.
    Nature, the sun, the rain, the farmers, the truck drivers, the cooks- all of it.

    i LOVE IT!!!!!

    How perfect.
    an acknowledgement that so much goes into delivering us our sustenance.

    and yes we TOTALLY love apples to the tune of about 8 kilos a week!
    xx

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  6. Love, love the apple Kate - especially the pink lady, something glorious about the sharpness.

    I also tried some gorgeous (less well known) varieties when I lived in London. Every Saturday, we would make the trip to the Borough market, such a nice way to start the weekend.

    xx

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  7. PS. go to my blog header to see my love of apples ;)
    xx

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  8. When I was a little tacker about five or so, we used to visit a friend (always an 'Uncle') of Dad's who had an orchard in the hills heading out of Perth. Still some of my best childhood memories - running the rows, picking, sheep wandering loose through there occasionally and a picnic lunch on the cold concrete of the wide verandah (bliss on a hot Perth day).

    I think I've had an affinity with orchards ever since and owning one or creating one is still on my list of things that might happen one day.

    Apple season is upon us in Tassie too which means they magically start to appear on my desk at work courtesy of one or the other colleagues that hails from down Huon/Franklin way. Nothing beats a real one...

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  9. Beautiful Kate...I wish I was closer so I could buy a big bag of 'real' apples from you...yum!

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  10. Fujis are my fave. We are eating Galas at the moment fresh from the tree at our local apple orchard. W hVe a few apple trees in the back yard but the bugs and birds always seem to beat us to the apples.

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  11. Love apples, my favourites ones were always when dad and I picked one or bought some fresh from the market and sat on the step together to eat it. Talking about all the things that love ones talk about. I still have lovely memories when I bite into a lovely crisp apple and think about how much I loved them simply because it was a wonderful experience. The type of apple wasn't important it was always enjoyed.

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  12. Pink Lady are my fave.

    Apple and Sav Blanc sorbet is the best! And if you sprinkle over a little Calvados (apple liquor) then it tastes all caramelly!

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  13. Lovely post. I think the pink lady and fuji would be my favourites. I planted a granny smith and jonothan (odd seeing they're not my favourite) a fews years ago and this year is the first year we have had fruit. I think it has something to do with my bad pruning! We have fruit salad and yoghurt each day for lunch and lately we've been enjoying our own apples. It's wonderful.
    I too love the sound of apples coming off the tree in my hand. I don't know about you, but I automatically sniff the apple.

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  14. That's lovely.
    I do like apples. Royal Gala is my current fave.

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  15. Nothing like an organic apple! Bit difficult to find here, but I can still taste the ones that I had on a farm in Normandy, the sweetest ever.

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  16. My grandmother always told us to eat an apple a day as they are so good for you. Paul's grandmother had an apple orchard when they were young in Bacchus Marsh but now there is only one tree left. I think apples always taste best freshly picked but I always prefer the granny smiths! Hope your enjoying your apple picking Kate.

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  17. My favourite apples are Grannies and Pink Ladies. Daughter No.1 only eats green apples, daughter No.2 only eats red, daughter No.3 likes both just like her mum! When they were growing up they all had an apple every day in their lunch box.

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  18. Pink Ladies are my fav. Our house used to be an apple orchard - I think they were all pulled out when coddling moth came through many years ago. And The Cidery is just down the hill, I love the local cider.

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  19. I hope you are going to tell us how to make cider!!!

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  20. Ah, cider! I was brought up in Somerset, which is traditionally an apple growing/cider making county in the UK. You could buy a glass of farm cider from the farm gate down the road for not very much at all, and half glasses were even sold to we children. And cider ice lollies when it was hot. I'd say I feel the same way about all the different ciders as other's do about the different wines, and I've a feeling I'm missing something being on the wrong side of an ocean to taste what you produce!

    Favourite apple: Coxes Orange Pippin, without a doubt.

    We're tipping into spring here and you have me longing for autumn's bounty, it's my favourite time of year :D

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  21. Lovely post Kate. My faves are Pink Lady for eating & granny smith for cooking. I also remember buying Bramlwys to cook in England, they were extra sharp. I'd like to try to make apple jam one day, even though I'm not a jam maker.

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  22. Apples are one of my favourite all time fruits. Fujis are my favourite. Love 'em. Love apples. Eat probably two a day. Love em. Love em. Love em.

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    1. Kate, I am so grateful for people like you and your hubby that grow wonderful food for us to eat. I love most apples with Pink Ladies being my favourite. I love all the wonderful things you can do with apples like making pies, crumbles, eat them fresh, stewed apple, adding them to chutneys, juice them, make cider...the list is endless.
      Thanks for this wonderful post.
      Anne xx

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  23. Kate I filled with such envy. A life full of joyous apples. I cannot go past a new season johnnie.

    x

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  24. I love apples and always have an apple everyday with my lunch. Here in the UK we have many old English varieties, which I do try to buy when they are in season, coxs orange pippins are my favourite of those. A mass produced apple that I do love which has become very popular in the UK recently is the Pink Lady. Every year on October 21st we have 'Apple Day' in the UK, do you have similar?

    Happy Apple Picking
    Fleur xx

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  25. Children are like apples in that they fall off the tree one day too. If we are lucky they won't roll away too far. Some do though don't they? Just like apples which don't stay with the tree, children are only loaned to us and don't stay long. We unattach from our parents and fall away. The same will happen to us. When they are little it is difficult to see that but we will not be a big part of their life forever. Yes that is sad for us :(

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  26. Really, really lovely post Kate x

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  27. I love that photo of the crate of apples. Why oh why dont they look like that in the shop? So delicious and fresh. My Mum says "the apple never falls far from the tree" when speaking of similarities between children and their parents. I love that. Sue :)

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  28. Oh this is lovely! I had two apple trees in the backyard of our farmhouse, and my all time favourite was the Granny Smith apples! Not too keen on the smell of apples to be honest though... I think I found too many in the bottom of a school bag or in a lunchbox after the school holidays and that's a funky smell that never really leaves the memory!

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  29. Your orchard is so beautiful! I love fuji apples the best

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  30. I want to come to your place!!!!
    I want to pick apples and eat them fresh from the tree (instead of slightly spongy from the supermarket).
    I love apples, all apples - but my favourite would be fuji.
    L
    x

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  31. Those apples sure do look amazing! I live in an apple growing area too. I love it when autumn comes along and I know I will be able to get fresh apples from the farmers market!
    My boys love pink lady but I really don't mind what type they are just as long as they are fresh and crunchy :)

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  32. I too am thankful for the growers of our beautiful organic apples. I really appreciate the toil and care of producing a harvest. It's so old fashioned but a crisp granny does it for me and my one true gift to my dad growing up was an apple pie on his birthday and father's day with DAD on it.

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  33. I love apples too. One of my favourite summer jobs was thinning apple trees, such a lovely view from the top of the ladder. My favourite is the granny smith especially in apple crumble....mmmm yum. Love reading your blog wether you are at home or on the road.

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  34. Oh how lovely Kate, a most beautiful post. i wish I got to see your orchard. We love our apples too. I have had such a bumper crop from the trees we planted a few years ago. It makes me very happy. I love bramley's for cooking and coxs golden pippins for eating.

    xx

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  35. Our apples this year have been attacked by fruit fly for the first time, sadly. I am, however, adept at cutting around the blemishes. The chooks are having a good time too! Pink Lady apples are my favourite eating apple, while the ever faithful Granny Smith is my favourite for cooking. Thank you for your blog.

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  36. I do have an apple everyday in my lunch! My favorites are Gala and Golden Delicious, well, because they're delicious!
    Such a lovely story you have :)

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  37. What a lovely post, it is so easy to just pass by the simple everyday items, I love apples, I'm a granny smith girl, my kids are granny smith and pink lady! Thank you to you and all our other wonderful farmers for all your hard work that means we can simply walk to our fruit bowl and enjoy a fresh yummy appple, we do appreciate it! xxBrenda

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  38. Oh I dearly love apples! Sadly I am unable to eat them now because I suffer from fructose malabsorption. I got some good news from a naturopath who said if I 'heal' my gut, I should be able to eat them again. Very exciting news!!

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  39. You have brought back wonderful memories of my childhood. My grandparents were apple orchardists, with my grandfather winning competitions in Sydney in the 1920s and having a prizewinning case of his apples shipped to England and presented to the King in 1928. I can remember being about the age of your girls with a big picking bag and yes, the sound of them emptying into the bin. They grew Grannies, Delicous, Johnnys, Rome Beauties and there were a few old Winesaps and one Lord Nelson, which we were always able to pick a few early fruit off for apple sauce for Christmas dinner. When packing the fruit, I would always find the tiniest Johnny and carry it around in my pocket, shining it to a high gloss. It was always a priviledge to be allowed to wrap the apples for the top layer of the case in green tissue paper. Unfortunately, all the orchard is gone now and my uncle who still lives there is quite elderly. In our tiny orchard, we have one Granny and a Gala. We planted them during the fire blight scare and they were the only varieties available. I love picking an apple to take to work each day after feeding the chooks. I love making apple crumble, but nothing beats the apple pies my Grandma used to make. As for cider, I loved trying all different varieties in the UK, but haven't really embraced it back here as yet. I must try a few.

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  40. Kate, I live in the Southern Tablelands and throughout the Summer and early Autumn, I thank Mother Nature for the abundance of free fruit that she gives people in our area that want it in the form of apple trees along the roadsides! We are blessed!

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  41. Sigh. All those lovely apples. :)

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  42. Beautiful post! I know nothing of farming but since childhood I've daydreamed about owning an orchard. Maybe in a few years when my little family is ready to settle down permanently we will buy a fruit farm. Hmmm, perhaps I should start reading up on it now just in case :). Thanks for reigniting an old dream!

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  43. Dreaming of owning our own little orchard someday! My faves are Honeycrisp!

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Thanks so much for stopping by...

I do read every single comment you leave and appreciate it very much, but I should let you know that I can be a wee bit on the useless side when replying to comments, that's just me, everyday life sometimes gets in the way....so I'll apologise now, just in case.

Kate XX

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