We came for the apples, but we fell in love with the view!
As soon as we stepped out of our vehicle we were greeted with a bird’s eye view of the rolling forested hills and farmland of the Saint John River Valley.
Before we began apple picking, we took some time to take in all the special highlights of the farm itself. First, we were greeted by the classically beautiful, pale grey farmhouse. It was easy to imagine how much the family must enjoy this majestic spot on the hillside living in a home with so many windows.
Tucked neatly behind the home is “The Apple Basket” where you not only pay for your produce but can also choose from a bounty of locally produced apple ciders, pies, jams, honey, maple syrup and other goods. Just a little further we found a beautiful red barn, an antique car and horses running in their pasture. It’s easy to see why this is a favourite spot for families and photographers alike!
The orchard provides wagons for customer use and we were happy we made use of this thoughtful provision. We had brought our own baskets and they nestled perfectly in the wagon with room left for a tired child, if need be. We noted that the grounds and most of the orchard are both wheelchair and stroller accessible.
The further we made our way into the orchard, the higher we rose and the more we could take in of the breathtaking panoramic views. There is something very special about walking through an orchard that has been owned by the same family for eight generations. Just imagine eight generations of Everett’s growing up right along with the neat rows of bowing apple trees that our children will be picking from today.
Through clearly marked signage we learned that the orchard offers ten main apple varieties and each tree is tagged accordingly with a coloured ribbon. On the day of our visit, MacIntosh, LoBo and Ginger Gold were available for picking. Sampling is allowed so we tried each variety and there was a clear favourite. The Ginger Gold had such unique sweet taste and THE perfect crunch, not to mention its smaller size and beautiful pale yellow flesh. On deciding which varieties we wanted to bring home, away we went!
Did you know there is a right way to pick an apple? The Everett’s shared with us the proper technique:
- First, cradle the bottom of the apple in the palm of your hand.
- Then, gently wrap your fingers around the apple.
- Next, roll the apple around the branch, this peels the stem off the branch. Don’t pull! (This is a habit hard to break, especially in young children.)
Most importantly, gently place your apple in the container to avoid bruising.
We were truly impressed with how heavy with fruit each tree was. We could have loaded our baskets with the first branch we came upon. Of course part of the fun is walking through the rows and finding only the very best, most pristine and perfectly sized apples. We explored every inch of the orchard and stayed until the sun started to dip in the sky. Picking apples is not a task, it’s an experience and we were sure to soak up every last drop.
Setting foot on a working farm naturally lends to conversation about the owners, their produce and the work involved in offering it to us. Here, children are offered the chance to get a true sense of where their food comes from. When farms open their doors to the community, those relationships are forged for generations to come. If you happen to mention Everett’s Family Orchard to anyone in the area, they immediately soften and fall into the story of their connection to the farm. The memories they have created over the years, apple picking with their families, run deep. It would appear we will now be part of that crowd…the sunlight shimmering through the leaves of apple heavy trees is the perfect backdrop for fall family memories, don’t you think? Now the inevitable question we all ask when we leave an apple orchard…what should be bake with ALL these apples?