Monday, September 18, 2017

Apple Picking Done Right - Mackintosh Fruit Farm

As has become our tradition for this last few years, the Sunday before Rosh Hashanah we hit a local orchard to pick apples (for Apples and Honey, among other uses). This year, Shira picked Mackintosh Fruit Farm as our destination. It was further out than other options, taking us about an hour-fifteen to get there, but turned out to be a great choice.

Maybe it was because it was so far out, or maybe we arrived early enough in the day, regardless, the crowds were less than we usually find at Butlers. We also appreciated the free containers and free entry; though I can't fault Butler's for their choice to charge for both of these.

We got off to a rough start with picking, as we found ourselves in an already picked-over section. But with a little walking and patience, we eventually found the pristine apples Shira was in search of.

In the orchard, my job is mostly to stay out of the way. Not that I don't contribute: someone has to reach the apples higher up, and someone has to carry the full bag of apples back to the car. But my lack of choosiness when it comes to apple picking mean that I tend to have plenty of time to photograph the surroundings. Hey, we all have jobs.

Speaking of surroundings, I do believe I've learned the name of a new plant: Horse Nettle. The yellow berries of horse nettle reminded me of the delicious goldenberries we ate in Ecuador and Colombia. Alas, these berries, and the plant itself are poisonous. Still, it's always fun to learn a new species of plant.

If the grounds of Mackintosh Farm weren't good enough, the little cafe turned out to be a hidden gem. We got grilled cheese, pizza, some kind of veggie fries and a basil-lemonade for $10. After having spent $10 for a grilled cheese at the US Open, this felt like a deal that was too good to be true. The grilled cheese was OK (though for $2.00, OK was just fine), the basil-lemonade was delish, and the fries were excellent. But it was the pizza that was the real hit. The gal at the counter told us it was veggie pizza, which was a bit of a misnomer. What we ended up eating was a bunch of veggies and cheese cut into the shape of a pizza slice. It tasted a lot more like veggie lasgana than pizza. Regardless, it was quite good and a pleasant surprise.

On top of all of this, the apples were only $1.49/pound, which I'm told is an excellent deal.

Shira definitely chose well, and while we had to spend a bit more time driving, Mackintosh was a rock solid choice.

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