Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Out for Apples
I wonder if Ida Reds are ripe yet? That was my thought as I headed out toward Saratoga Lake and up into the hills to where Stetkar's Orchard is nestled among horse farms on a dead-end road. Their orchard is small, and the old folks who own it are dear, and theirs is the only orchard around that sometimes has Jonathans (my very favorite apple next to Ida Red). Sadly, their stand was closed today: a sign said "open Saturday and Sunday, 10-5." Oh well, it's always worth the trip, just for the drive through pretty hills and the chance to say hi to their goat and goose.
They used to have several goats and geese and a donkey and swans and rabbits and turkeys and fancy chickens. That was when their apple stand used to be open every day. And my kids were small and so excited to see all the animals. Ah, how the years go by! At least it looked like they still make cider. I'll be back on the weekend to buy some.
I headed on east to Schuylerville then, to the much bigger Saratoga Orchard, which I know is open every day. They hadn't yet picked their Ida Reds, but no matter. I found Northern Spies, Jonagolds, and Honey Crisps. And enjoyed the view of the mountains from the orchard's parking lot.
Back home and washing some apples to place in a bowl, I looked out my kitchen window to where I feed the birds. And there was a little Junco scratching about in the seeds. Four of them! We're back, they told me, come south for the winter from their much more northerly breeding grounds.