Last weekend, we went to Larriland Farm to go apple picking. My husband and I performed this ritual every fall when we lived in central New York, but had yet to bring the kids here in the DC area. Larriland was a not so long drive from us and I knew it wouldn’t be swarmed like some other farms we’d visited before. Not only can you pick apples right off the tree at Larriland, we were able to pull beets out of the dirt, break off heads of broccoli and pick our own spinach and Swiss chard. The kids had a blast, and got to see where real food grows.
Larriland Farm currently has two of our favorite apple varieties to pick: granny smith and braeburns. The granny smith apples were huge. Like the size of a newborn’s head. The braeburns were smaller, snack sized apples. For some reason, the apples at the top of the tree look better than those at kid level. Thankfully Sophia has a dad who doesn’t mind obliging.
Not to be outdone, Jaxson needed a turn as well. Once I told him that he could eat the apples he just picked, he stopped picking apples. Except when he finished eating the one in hand. I don’t blame him. It was a crispy fall day and the apples were crisp, juicy and the perfect balance of sweet and tart.
Of course my husband wanted to pick his own apples. All together we picked almost 30 pounds! The kids have eaten 2-3 apples everyday this week. I baked a pie the same day and plan on baking another apple pie soon. This time we’re going for a crumb topping.
My husband and I love beets so we couldn’t leave without picking some. Did you know that the tops of the beet root sticks out of the dirt so you can easily tell if it’s big enough to pull? The kids don’t eat beets but they could have pulled much, much more than I let them. We saved the beet tops (greens) too. They’re really good sauteed in garlic with a splash of balsamic vinegar. I’ll make my basil beet salad with goat cheese with the roots.
I have to say the piece de resistance was the broccoli field. I am so glad that broccoli is one of Sophia and Jaxson’s favorite vegetables. It took some arm strength to snap those broccoli heads off the stalk. When we paid for our broccoli, we discovered that they had knives we could have used. Go figure. We have so much broccoli, I think I have to freeze it!
Later the kids hit the hay maze and we ate freshly made apple fritters. It was totally worth the wait in line! We inhaled those things. I would have bought two trays but we forgot to hit the ATM before hand. (The apple fritter booth only took cash.) I’m looking forward to visiting Larriland in the spring for strawberries!
What are you favorite fall farm activities?