Day 220 – August 8, 2018
Surrounding the community I live, are a very large number of apple orchards. Apples are a pretty big deal as we have two major apple factories within 15 minutes. When I moved to the Valley, I had heard that these factories were out here and it wasn’t long before I set out on an investigation to hunt them down. The first I came upon, Musselman’s, is one of the major companies. They are pretty well known for their applesauce. The second, Lucky Leaf, is also an applesauce brand, but also apple juice and cider, as well as fruit fillings. It is an absolutely jaw dropping drive through the apple orchards that cover hills, meadows, valleys and pretty much every available plot of land where apple trees can be planted. And for 8 months of the year, from when the blossoms emerge, to when the last apple falls, the landscape changes from bare gray twisted limbs to a luscious green. There are two rolling hills in the background, in the photo above (yes those are major storm clouds rolling in), where the trees roll along the mountain side and as you drive past the Lucky Leaf plant, everywhere you look, on every side, there they are. It is near impossible to capture the scope of the orchards from the ground. In late summer, early fall, when the apples drop in mobs below the trees, workers swarm the orchards making their way out with ladders, crates, apple shakers, collecting their harvest for delivery to the factories. I know it sounds like I am geeking out about apple orchards, but it really is a fascinating process. And in mid fall, all the little towns have some kind of apple festival. Ours is called Pippenfest, named after the pippin apple. It may not seem like much, but it really is one of those things that just make our town unique. It also gives us something to to do in the fall.