Pick a Peck of Apples

apple

Here’s the thing about apple picking:

It’s just too easy.

My mom and Brooke have both pointed out to me how challenging picking berries can be. You bend over. There are brambles. The berries are small, and you want all of them, and you have to sweat for hours in a field to make that happen.

Apples, on the other hand, come off thornless trees that aren’t very tall, and you usually pick them on relatively mild early fall days. For example, this past Sunday, when I participated in my family’s annual “drive two hours each way to pick apples for 15 minutes” ritual.

We favor Jollay Orchards in Coloma, Michigan, a pretty little family-run place about two hours from Chicago. There are amusements for the kids, a guy playing his guitar, a ride on the tractor, and tons of delicious fruit.

tractor

The nice thing about Coloma is that, in addition to Jollay and several other U-Pick fruit spots and stands, they’ve also got candy shops, good restaurants (we love The Waterfront, a lakeside restaurant that claims to be fine dining but really is just good food cooked by people who love to tell inappropriate pun-based jokes to your family while you eat), and cider tasting.

ciderAt Grandpa’s Cider Mill you can get all manner of weird flavors, including peanut butter cider (a winner) and fudge cider (less so). It doesn’t say so anywhere on this sign, but you only get three free tastes. We each had about five before the lady called us out on it.

All in all, it was a fine family outing and a great way to kick off fall. What are you most excited for with the turn of the seasons?

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