- Picking in the Orchard
Today we took a road trip down to Willcox, Arizona to visit Apple Annie’s Orchard and their sister site for Produce and Pumpkins. It’s about four hours southeast of our house. Tucson is about halfway there. Along the way, we passed Kartchner Caverns and The Thing which we have visited several times already, so we kept on truckin’. I had never been picking in an orchard before, nor had I ever been in a pumpkin patch and it was quite a fun experience!
We first stopped at the Orchard where we had lunch at the Burger Bar. Andrew tried their Apple Smoked Burger and I settled on a hotdog and some Fritos. Lunch also included drinks and dessert but for $18, we still thought it was a bit overpriced. There wasn’t really an option to buy lunch without the peripherals so if you only want a hot dog, you’re out of luck.
We grabbed a picking pole and set off to get some fruit. We picked some Gala and Fiji apples, as well as some Granny Smiths and also some Asian Pears. I couldn’t believe how many fire ants were on the orchard – it was hard not to step in their anthills and I was scared of getting bitten. Andrew got bit a few weeks ago at his parent’s house and his legs looked terrible with dark red marks from the bites.
- I found a big one!
After checking out and paying for our loot, we visited the gift shop where I picked up some Apple Butter with no sugar added. We stopped for our “included” piece of apple pie a la mode and finished it off before getting back in the car. From there, we drove a few miles further to the Apple Annie’s Produce and Pumpkins fields.
At the Produce and Pumpkins fields, we hopped on the $3 hay ride and rode way out about 3/4 of a mile to the place where they were allowing people to pick fresh pumpkins. It happened to be the very first day of the pumpkin picking season, so I expected a lot more people to be there. We never had to wait in line or anything. Many of the pumpkins were still too green to be picked, but we found some massive ones that were beautifully orange and ready to be snagged.
- Andrew Claims his Pumpkin
I had my eye on a really big pumpkin, which was naturally too big for me to pick up and carry back to the wheelbarrow they gave us. Apple Annie’s supplied the carts as well as the long clippers so you could go out into the field and pick any pumpkin you wanted. Andrew settled on a large one about 10 yards away from the one I decided on. He clipped and loaded his, and then came back to help me with my monster pumpkin.
After we selected our main pumpkins, we walked around and bought a few smaller ones just for fun. Total pumpkin damage was $47 plus $6 for the hay ride. It was worth it for the experience of picking our own pumpkins right out of the patch! I had a lot of fun and think Andrew enjoyed himself too. It was still pretty hot in the low 90′s so we didn’t stay out there longer than we had to.
We are on our way to a Happy Halloween, 2010!
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