My parents were visiting for the last week, and we decided to make their last day in town a super fun one by declaring a theme. Themes make everything more fun (true fact).
Since fall properly settled in during their visit, we declared yesterday Apple Day. The plan: apple picking, apple crafts, apple cooking. In the end, we didn't have time for the cooking part, but I have big (simple) plans for the twenty pounds of apples still sitting in bags on my kitchen counter.
I hadn't been apple picking since I was a kid living on the other side of the continent, so I let Google guide us. There are some serious fall spectacles at farms this time of year, so we chose to go to one whose website didn't imply that the fun of picking food is actually a zip line.
And so we spent the morning at the utterly delightful Willow View Farms in Abbotsford. And I don't just say it's delightful because the owner very kindly helped me jack up my car after I managed (in one of my proudest driving moments but not really) to get stuck after driving over the rail-tie parking divider. I can only hope he made fun of me for the rest of the day, because I certainly hung my head a little lower after that feat.
The farm is gorgeous, and more than that, the people are friendly. I was excited that their Gala apples were ready for picking, and when I asked which varieties would be good for making apple sauce, I was pointed to Elstar and Alkmene. With those apples on the map and a wagon in Owen's hand, we set off.
The dwarf trees allowed Owen to pick fruit without needing to be hoisted up, and he loved every minute of it. Before heading back to the playground and the store, we also picked some corn and visited the petting zoo which was the least chaotic petting zoo I've been to. They provided info about the animals, too, which I appreciate. It's fun to visit with farm animals, but it's even more fun to visit with farm animals while learning something about them, too.
So 22 pounds of apples, two ears of corn, a butternut squash, a sugar pumpkin, and an automobile rescue later, we rushed Owen into bed for his nap and realized there was no way we'd have time to make apple crumble after he woke up. So arts and crafts it would be. The plan: Hack an apple in half and use it as a stamp with paint.
My primary lesson of our crafty afternoon is that it's time to get proper general-use paint (preschool grown-ups – got a recommendation for inexpensive but awesome?). I only had thick finger paint in the house, so I watered it down a little and that resulted in, well, mostly really vibrant watercolour-like painting. It was still really fun.
Owen immediately lost interest in using the apple halves as stamps, and instead used them as if they were a massive brush. It was really cool to watch, and he had a ton of fun. My parents went home today with a painting, and I plan to frame one for some fall art.
So I suppose, with the sauce-making ahead, that we're really pretty much having apple week. And I think I'll make it an annual event. With his mouth stuffed full of apple at the farm yesterday, Owen was already asking when we'd go back. I'm thinking maybe in a couple weeks, and certainly next year.
Fall is my favourite time of year. What kinds of fun things do you do to welcome the chill?
PS My mom knitted Owen's sweater. She rocks!