The Red Apple Barn
One thing that has been strange about moving and homeschooling all at once has been the last of kids for DS to play with. We are working to meet new friends in the area, but with many places shut down, it is limited on where to meet new people too!. Something we have also noticed is that there arent many kids designed activities like there are in California but more on that another time.
A couple weeks ago I joined a few Georgia homeschooling groups in the area in an effort to make sure I am providing DS with the best possible experience, and in hopes we would meet some families to go on field trips or play dates with. A couple of the groups go on a hike every other week or so but with the remodel and hotel living, we havent been able to go on those yet. Last week one of the groups decided to schedule an Apple Picking field trip in Ellijay GA at The Red Apple Barn so we jumped at the opportunity! I told Steven he wasnt allowed to schedule any appointments that day so we could all go enjoy.
We left in time to get some breakfast on the drive and found the Red Barn easily up in the mountains. After the boys paid for our trip we hopped on the tractor's wagon for the ride up to the orchard. BabyM seemed so surprised by all the trees flying by as we rode... and got a bit car sick too lol, and the boys just got annoyed that Mom was taking so many photos and videos so early in the trip. We rode up a hill and through the woods a bit to get to the picking orchard.
As we arrived, we saw some wild turkeys fly out of the orchard from their breakfast and the driver explained that the types of trees we were in were Gala and Golden Delicious apples. He also explained that up on the other side was the barn where they also offer weddings. We decided to explore the barn first and get a couple family pictures. It was pretty hot out so wanted some nice ones before we got all sweaty. The barn had a beautiful view and we could easily see why it was the perfect spot for a wedding. Inside they had cornhole boards and some cute fall decor. The pictures will be easier when BabyM can sit up on her own but in the meantime she has the sweetest big brother to hold her up!
At the bottom of the hill we had bought a couple bags to fill with apples so the boys set to it. Sadly, with all the crazy storms that have come through recently, several of the branches had been broken and snapped under the weight of the plentiful apples growing, and even an entire Golden Delicious tree had been uprooted. We had fun finding the biggest ones possible, several times being tricked by ones that the wild turkeys had beaten us to and put big holes in. If there are bears in the area, i hope they keep an eye out because many of the apples on the ground had started to ferment and they are gonna have some drunk bears. BabyM even tried grabbing a few from the tree to add to our bag. She surely prefers the red apples to the green.
After our bags were full of apples, we waited for the tractor to take us back down the hill and saw a few Mules that the owners had bought from the Amish. Sounds like when the mules arrived, they had no idea what to do with the apples, but now they will nearly bust through the fencing to get some from the kiddos and parents trying to offer them apples. They were surprisingly gentle even with the littlest of kids with treats.
I decided that now that BabyM is 4 months old, we would try and see what she thought of a fresh apple. I took a couple bites off first so she didn't get any peel (just in case they spray their apples) and let her lick the flesh. She didn't really make any funny memorable faces until I took it away and then she tried jumping out of my arms to get to it. We took the ride back down to the bottom and let DS play in the slides for a few minutes before going to check out the farm store, and getting their apple cider donuts as an appetizer for lunch. We picked out some ciders, apple cinnamon bread, a caramel apple for DS and some apple butter. Also, recently my aunt made a family recipe book which gave me the idea to start collecting them from all the places we go! The shop had one made for their store so picked one us for our family as well!
We really had fun on this adventure and on the way home, DS asked if we can go there every year. As the insane parents we are, we promised to try 1 or 2 more apple picking places this year to find our favorite and then we will go to that one each year. How could we resist such a fun fall tradition though... even if it still is the summer heat and humidity in Georgia? Hoping to use these apples for some fresh apple pie and maybe some Apple cinnamon bread of our own. YUM! Ill share some pictures if I can!