It is a true sign of fall when orchards are open to one and all to pick rich, ripe, juicy apples.
When our kids were young, apple picking was always a fall ritual. We would pack a picnic and head to either Nova Scotia to the Annapolis Valley or to the Cocagne area better known as the “Pays de la Saquine” in New Brunswick in search of the best apple orchards. Regardless of where we went the results were the same, exploring new places while on a road trip, picking apples, climbing trees, filling baskets and being outdoors in the warm fall sunshine. When family lived close by, it would be followed by a day of making pies and freezing them for the winter.
When I put this on my list, I had no idea where I would pick apples on Vancouver Island but I knew I wanted to experience the pleasure of apple picking again.
We were just recently in New Brunswick and passing through the Cocagne area. We came upon the “Verger Goguen” and they were open. “STOP THE CAR! I can’t pass this up, we have to pick apples!” I exclaimed.
Tina and Armand gave us a basket and told us the varieties available and where to pick. I have my favorites, Gravenstein for cooking and Macintosh for eating. Since the above mentioned were not quite ripe, Melba’s were recommended for both.
It didn’t take long to pick a 28lb basket. The trees were overflowing with apples. Most were easily reached from the ground but those at the top were red and appealing. How close can I get that ladder to reach the cream of the crop?
Since I can’t bring these home, I have been giving them to family and friends. But not before making 2 delicious pies for a family dinner of 11. And true to Armand’s word, the Melba’s made excellent tasty pies.