I started to get a little nostalgic today; the temperature dropped to real fall weather! I am wearing socks & a sweatshirt and I am loving it! The crisp scent in the air always reminds me a few of my favorite things from growing up in Michigan – and today, the memory of apple orchards is one of the events that spiked my love & appreciation of the world around us:
Picking your own Apples!
Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to locate an apple orchard in Orlando (or Florida for that matter) so I have to pick ‘em from the Farmer’s Market – but almost every other state can partake in this awesome activity! Imagine, rows & rows of apple trees, your own straw basket, a hot mug of apple cider, & maybe a cinnamon donut for a treat (as if fresh grown apples weren’t enough) You might even get lucky enough to take a hay ride on a horse-drawn wagon! *sigh of jealousy*
If you do have the chance to go to the orchard this season – send me pictures! and ask the folks there what kind of environmental practices do they keep in order to make their crops tasty and not take away from the earth.
Some things to consider when choosing your afternoon of apples:
- How are you getting there? Carpool if you can & pack it in with as many people as there are seatbelts to lower your impact.
- Where are you going? Consider an Organic Apple Orchard if you can – and a local one at that to support your own growing community!
- How does the farm promote soil health? Perhaps they create their own special organic compost blend.
- How does the farm conduct tree disease management? Organic farmers will use a natural approach to their tree farms by creating a forest like haven that apples trees would naturally grown in.
What are you going to do with all those delicious apples?
Here is one of my fave recipes for your bushel of delish:
Butternut Squash Ravioli w. Apple/Walnut dressing
Cook your ravioli as normal – stovetop water boil style. I like using Butternut Squash ravioli because it tastes like cheese, but minus the extra calories – however, cheese ravioli is tasty as well - so do what you like!
In the meantime, heat up a little olive oil in a saute pan & toast up your walnuts (or mixed nuts, whatever you have on hand) approximately one handful.
Just before they are done fully toasting, add some thinly sliced, hard variety of apple. One apple will usually do it, but this is a great recipe to make for a large group as well, so figure as needed. I like to use Red Delicious for this recipe, but any will work as long as they stay firm. Also add a half of a handful of finely choppeed Italian parsely leaves.
Stir this all around just enough until the oil coats it all and it has had a chance to blend the flavors -approximately 2 minutes.
Toss this delish dressing with your raviolis & ENJOY!!! mmmm.