I am not the type of person who writes regular bucket lists (mainly because I try not to give myself more work than I already have), but one of the things that I desperately wanted to do this autumn was to go apple picking in an orchard. I have a bit of a love affair with this season; I adore everything about it, and for some reason apple picking was one of the most autumny activities I could think of (and also one that I had never done before but have wanted to for a number of years)! So yesterday, for my birthday treat (yes, birthdays don’t get much better than this), we headed off to a fruit farm.
We went to Broomfield Fruit Farm in Meopham, Kent, on the recommendation of a friend (about a 25-minute drive from Chislehurst).
We arrived mid-afternoon and we were the only people there (I was surprised really. I expected there to be loads of people desperate to pick apples on a rainy Monday in September. No? Just me? Ok then…). We parked up and the lovely farmer came over to ask if we were there to pick apples; I think he thought we were lost. After confirming that we were in fact there to pick apples, he brought us some bags and explained the layout of the orchards. He told us which apples were ready for picking and invited us to try a few as we went along. And with this we set off!
We started with the “cooking” apples, and once we had enough for a couple of crumbles we moved onto the “eating” apples. It ended up being the perfect activity for A and E. So many of the apples were at their height:
They were easy to pick (if ripe, the apple will simply fall from the tree with little effort):
And they loved being able to taste as they went along (it was definitely a very healthy activity):
I was amazed at the large variety of apples available (including Bramley, Discovery, Laxton Fortune, Worcester Permain, St Edmunds Pippin, Cox, Early Windsor, Jupiter, Laxton Superb, Spartan, Sunset and Kent – more than I had ever heard of), as well as the varying shapes, sizes, colours and tastes! There was one variety (the name of which I cannot for the life of me remember) that looked like plums – they were so small and red; these were definitely A and E’s favourites, and they were perfect for tiny hands!
I think that fruit picking is such an important part of childhood. Not only is it fun to pick your own fruit, and very healthy, but it is so important for children to learn where their food actually comes from. And there is no better way to teach them that than to actually show them, and let them do it for themselves!
Despite the rain, the whole experience was just wonderful. The hardest part was trying not to pick too many!
We ended up with three full bags. At £1.10 per kg these were an absolute bargain and I am wondering how many more visits I can squeeze in before the end of the apple season!
What are your favourite autumn activities?