Orchards Suffering, But Not Closing
Drought can't prevent us from enjoying apples.
Web2Carz Contributing Writer
Published: September 12th, 2012
One of the best parts about going to an orchard is the realization that not all produce comes from a shelf at the grocery store.
lthough we've experienced a few rainy days as of late, the majority of the summer was dry. So dry, in fact, that orchards around the midwest are worrying that the drought may affect the harvest and their fall business. Combined with a freeze in April in some cities, some orchards aren't even opening this autumn.
Thankfully, not all orchards are closing, and most of us will still be able to enjoy a crisp fall day spent apple picking, drinking cider, and eating cider donuts. As for how to use the apples you get from the orchard, we suggest doing things that you wouldn't ordinarily try—make apple butter, for example, or can your own applesauce.
Making apple butter uses the same general technique as canning, and all you need to do to have your own, better-than-store-bought is to make applesauce, add spices, and let it cook down.
As for applesauce, it's even easier than apple butter. Ask your orchard for "seconds" or "culls," which are smaller apples that may have less-than-perfect appearances, and are thusly sold cheaper than the prettier, bigger apples. All you have to do for applesauce is cut, wash, and peel (if desired) the apples, then cook them until they're soft, then blend either using a hand blender or a regular blender. Kept in cans, it can last a long time.
But if you'd rather keep your apples for snacking raw, there's nothing stopping you. The best part of a trip to the orchard isn't necessarily what you do with the apples afterwards, but the time spent realizing that not all produce comes from a shelf at the grocery store.