Over the course of the past week or so, it has become increasingly clear to us that the apples and pears were ready to come down. In fact, Scarlet and I would go and gather the windfalls each evening to add to our goats' rations, and were noticing a definite increase in the amount of apples committing hara-kiri each day. Picking time was nigh.
But picking apples from our non-dwarf, very old apples trees is not a task to be undertaken lightly. This is no picturesque, Pinterest-photo op. This is a bark-chunks-to-the-eye, ladder-teetering, crinked-neck, farmer versus tree, battle royale.
Apple to the cheekbone - coming up!
Our tallest apple tree is in excess of 15 feet high. And in the torturous way of many fruit trees, seems to grow it's biggest, most perfects fruits in the unreachable branches located 15 feet up, dead center. Basically, they're completely inaccessible, which isn't to say that we ever learn to just leave those apples alone. Nope, our cider-greed blinds us to the futility of our pursuit.
This year, we judiciously decided to throw in the towel (for now) after managing to pick and knock down 140+ pounds of cider and sauce-worthy apples, leaving another frustratingly impossible to reach 30-50 pounds still in the trees.
We also managed to collect another 13 pounds of smooshed, bug chomped or otherwise "imperfect" apples to share with our goats.
The goaties' share of the goods.
Our share! :)
As if our epic apple haul weren't enough, we also finally had a pear crop. Granted, at just 20 pounds, it wasn't huge, but when measured against our previous best-ever crop of one lonely little pear, we counted ourselves exceedingly lucky to end up so flush with fruit.
Aren't they purty?!?
With the picking being done, we now enter phase two of the fruit-a-palooza; washing, peeling and juicing. Hooboy!
With 160+ pounds of apples and pears that will need dealing with, I predict a busy week, filled with intense paring knife, apple peeler and steam juicer usage. I'll have to keep my eye on the prize - that first pint of ice cold homemade cider.
Like last weekend's jam-o-rama, this fruit-a-palooza may require a little external motivation to get through. Cue the motivational montage!