Sunday, October 10, 2010

Apple Picking at Larriland Farm

Last week as we were heading up to Pennsylvania, many of you on twitter tried to help but I came up empty handed at Penn State, State College, PA. Most of the surrounding farm land belongs to the college for purposes of research and learning. The one farm we came across was closed on Sunday the one day we had a moment as we were heading back. Then I went on twitter to find one organic orchard in the DC area. Thanks to several recommendations from FRESHFARMMktsDC, we found Larriland Farm. I have been looking for an organic orchard but after the seeing the crowds today I understand why purely organic orchards are not open to the public. Though it was as dignified as this type of harvest and Fall Festivals events can go, it was a matter of the waste that I am referring to. As you pick, some  apples just fall to the ground, some consumed and some destroyed accidently.  Larriland Farm farming practices are Integrated Pest Management, part of which is disease and pest resistant crop varieties. 
The cashier, at the stand right in the middle of the orchard, when I started chatting with her, to my delightful surprise was very well versed with the farm practices and told Jonathan and me that they spray only the apple blossoms with non toxic pesticides, and never spray the apples. My allergies didn't flair up as we were picking several varieties of apples, broccoli, cauliflower and the very last of raspberries, which was labor intensive and prickly, so I guess there was a truth in advertising.  See really interesting information on the Intergrated Pest Management practices here. It was the tail end of Golden and Red Delicious, Staymans are still in full swing, got some what looked to me as Granny Smiths though many rows are still ripening and Mutsu a green sweet variety. Jonathan completely played the part and was into it even when I asked him for the apples at the very top, of course! Sometimes we don't see eye to eye and he will give me grief, though many are surprised to hear that, Jonathan?! I guess this really reminded him of his days at a kibbutz in Israel when he picked pears, lemons, and dates, so we looked for ladders and went climbing for those perfect apples exposed up there to the sun and got that beautiful color all around.

11 comments :

  1. Looks so lovely there! Thanks for sharing :)

    xo
    Sarah
    brightlights-mycity.blogspot.com

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  2. I've never seen how broccoli grows until that picture! Jealous if you really have granny smith nearby. That is one of my favorites and isn't available at local farms that I've ever seen. They are all shipped in.

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  3. Thx Sarah!
    Thanks Rachel, I didn't either till yesterday. Wasn't surprised to see the cauliflower patches although was a first as well, as much as I was surprised with the broccoli. Interesting about the Granny Smiths, they are my favorite especially for baking. Golden delicious, freshly picked are my favorite for just plain fresh snack! :)

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  4. Really beautiful place and what a fun day. And we've started drinking organic wine.

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  5. What a beautiful setting. I love that tractor ride. Perfect Fall activity.

    ps, the cauliflower looks gorgeous.

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  6. Shulie Larriland Farms looks amazing. Love the broccoli and berries. The apples must be divine. Looks like youbhad a gorgeous day. :)

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  7. Lora, Ken and Jamie, As this type of harvest festivals go this was the most dignified, beautiful serene settings. People were at ease and I couldn't have stumbled into a better farm or weather that Saturday this past weekend. Once you take a bite out of the apple than you understand yet again how divine fresh off the tree is. My favorite apple is golden delicious and we were lucky they still had some though tail end of the harvest for the golden delicious. We stareted a more organic diet (to the best of our ability) when Sagie turned two...and getting better about it every day. Organic wine sounds fantastic. Ken, I am going to make some cauliflower today I will let you know how it turns out. Love you all<Shulie

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  8. Loved this post Shulie! Your pictures are lovely. Makes me feel like I was there too :)

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  9. Shulie, loved looking at your pics of the farm! gorgeous produce...loved the raspberries! yum!

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  10. Love the beautiful country pictures. Makes me want to go to the country! :)

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  11. Thank you Renee, Sara and Megan, It was such a nice day and we stayed few minutes passed closing picking the last of the raspberries. Beauty is it's only an hour away. Very picturesque! Shulie

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