Gravenstein Apples

I love the city. I really do. But when I take a few days off I want to hit the country. Which is how the cute guy and I spent a long weekend. We headed north. To apple country.

We drove through Sebastopol to Graton, up to Cloverdale and over to Booneville. And each time we passed apple farms, there were two near our camp, I remembered picking apples with Mom.

I remembered her pulling on to the side of the road, two wheels in the field. It was before there were fences, orchards as far as Christmas. "Come on," she'd say. "Let's get apples." And I'd pick as many from the ground as I could carry. "They're Gravensteins," she'd sing, which meant nothing to me except Gravensteins made her happy.

Yesterday Gravenstein apples were the main headline in the Sunday paper. I recognized the farmer in the front page picture. We've laughed together. I've taken more than one slice of apple from his hand.

The article explained that the apple growers aren't picking the fallen apples traditionally used for juice. There's no where to take them. The US apple juice market is sustained by China. It's cheaper.

I didn't read further but I did come home with cotton bags of apples. Picked from a growers wooden boxes at the farm. A farm with a black dog carrying a yellow ball. A farm with a big rabbit and three red hens.

I read the names of the apples; Northern Spy, Sierra Beauty. There were more varieties than there are holidays. I could see them in the field, on the trees and the ground. I could happily smell them but couldn't help wondering, will the apple fields be there the next time? Or will we need to go to China to buy them off the farm?


dc said...

This coming Saturday will be our last outdoor farmers market for the season. I'll be buying a 20pound box of organic apples, baby turnip, roasted green chilies, dried pinto beans, fresh eggs and whatever else looks good.

I love the one on one interaction with the farmers who grow our food. Last weekend it was so cold that their produce was freezing on the tables but they were still there.

A country that relies on food from halfway around the world is in trouble!

Kelly said...

impatiently working for a SLOW food revoloution...

kale for sale said...

dc - I have a special fondness for the winter markets too. Every person on both sides of the tables are so appreciated. Enjoy your harvest.

Kelly - Impatient and often discouraged. I did however make an awesome pot of applesauce last night with a couple quince tossed in for good measure.

Tamara said...

That's incredible...didn't know the apple juice market was farmed out to China.
I'll make an extra effort to buy from the farmer's market...thank you.

kale for sale said...

Tamara - You always say just the right thing.