There are some traditions that I'm starting to enjoy even though they are a lot of work. Each year the Lind family (my dad's siblings) would make apple cider. Two years ago we made apple cider at my uncles house but that has now ended. Last year my dad wanted to continue the tradition so he borrowed the cider press from his brother and now his brother has given my dad the cider press for good. So last year we picked 130 gallons of apples (we filled some 5 gallon buckets 26 times) and ended up with about 30 gallons or so of apple cider. Last year we went to one orchard and were able to pick all of those apples in about 3 hours.
This year was much different. We began by picking apples from one of my parents neighbors. There were 3 trees that we picked pretty clean and we ended up with about 60 gallons of apples. This took us about an hour. The girls were tired after that so my dad and I dropped them off with grandma (my mom) and Malakai before heading to the next orchard.
The girls loved climbing the ladder and picking apples. They kept begging grandpa to let them climb the ladder.
The second place where my dad and I went was an unkept orchard where we picked all of our apples last year. We started walking up and down the rows and were finding no apples on the trees. It was unbelievable. We picked pretty much every single apple that we could find in this orchard and barely came away with 60 gallons of apples. On top of that, we were there for 3 hours. It took us 3 hours to pick the same amount of apples from this unkept orchard that it took us to pick from my parents neighbors in an hour.
We were able to fill the 5 gallon buckets we had 12 times which was our goal, but I was scrounging on the ground for apples while my dad was attempting to reach some of the highest apples up in the branches. After we finished getting all the apples we could find, my dad saw the owner and stopped to talk to him. He asked if anyone else had picked apples there this year and the owner said no. It was just a really bad year. The owner, in the 8 years he had lived there, had never seen such a bad year. But we were able to get the amount of apples that we wanted. This coming weekend we'll be making the apple cider!
Once we were back at my parents house we went to the garden and got our big pumpkins. After that the kids got a fun ride in the wheel barrow. This was Malakai's first ride and he was not sure what to think. At first he didn't like it but then when it was finished he wanted to ride more!