Monday, 31 August 2015

Skytop Orchard

It is apple season here.  Where we live, there are 3 or 4 different pick your own apple orchards about an hour away.  We typically go to Nivens Apple Orchard.  This year we tried somewhere different.

I had heard many a good thing about Skytop Orchard, up in North Carolina. As had Paul.  We had heard it got super busy, and that they had the best cider apple donuts.

Last Saturday we set of at about 8.15 am.  I know, stupidly early for a saturday.  It took just under an hour to get there. The last part of the journey was up a little windy road.  We were able to get in and get parked in the field behind the main building.  It was already pretty busy.

We went to the main building and collected baskets, and a little trolley to pull along.  We headed to the duck pond to feed the ducks.

I had seen from their Facebook page that they had gala apples ready for the picking. Seeing as these are our favorite type of apples, we headed there first.

There were apples galore!!!!!! The trees were heavy with fruit.  Because it is fairly early in the season, there was not much fruit on the found, so not too many flying bugs.  The day was also slightly overcast and grey, which may have helped this situation. It also helped keep the temperatures down

Everyone had a good time picking, and we quickly filled the five baskets we had.  To say the trolley was loaded, would be an understatement....

Next to the gala trees were some grape vines, again on pick your own.  Although we can and do grow grapes in the UK, these tend to be processed into a delicious alcohol beverage.  I believe that the soil where we used to live in West Sussex was the same type of soil that grows champagne grapes so well in France....  

I had to pick some grapes.  Even if I am the only person who eats them in out house.....

From there it was back up the hill to the main building.  The apples needed to be transferred from baskets to bags, ready for weighing.  Same with the grapes.  We roped in some helpers for this task.  While this was taking place, other people were hovering around, waiting for our trolley

While Paul took the 3 massive bags of apples and joined the queue to get them weighed and paid for, I went and joined the queue for the apple cider donuts (See a theme here?).  Paul was done first, so he took control of the boys.  I paid $9 for a dozen donuts, and my, they were so worth waiting for.  Yummy!!!!!

Paul dropped off the apples to the car, and we let the boys goa nd have a play in the parks and around the general area. 

They all had a really good time, and were pretty well behaved. 

The view back down the mountain was stunning, so pretty.

Skytop is an awesome orchard to take the whole family to.  You could certainly kill half a day there.  I would recommend getting there early, as it gets super busy.  I have heard stories of people waiting up to an hour to get in!! Generally the people are nice and friendly, and there is plenty for all.

Once we arrived home, we enlisted some help again in processing and cleaning the apples.  They all helped out...

We filled the bottom of our fridge with apples, and our cool box.  We are now 9 days since our trip there, and we still have a fridge full, and a fruit bowl full of apples.  

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