Washington: the apple state

This is a delayed post. I was supposed to write it last week, after my apple-picking outing, but then I just got lazy. So here we go.

I’m a New Yorker who loves apples. Maybe even more than the horses I ride. So when I told people I was moving to Washington, they exclaimed that I would love it, since this state produces approximately two-thirds of the nation’s apples.

I love Washington, but not always for the apples. I miss my Cortland apples — the perfect blend of soft and crunchy, sweet and tart. No Washington apple has compared, in my opinion.

Despite my lack of enthusiasm for the apple varieties I’ve tasted here, I decided it’s high-time I went apple picking. I Googled around and found a farm called Skipley Farm in Snohomish. It’s small but mighty, packing in about 80 varieties of apples.

The trees (if you’d like to call them that), were just my size: short, almost like bushes. Since the farm charges by pound and not by brand, I loaded up on Honeycrisp apples. I usually don’t want to spend the $2.99/lb for the crisp-tasting treat at the store, so this was a nice change. I sprinkled in a few other varieties like Fiesta, Rubinette and Elstar apples.

I had eaten right before going out to pick, which probably was a good thing, so I couldn’t eat more than I would bring home. However, I was able to try the Fiestas out in the field and they were quite delicious.

With my 10-pound bucket overflowing, I decided it was time to go. The apples were a bit expensive (11 pounds for $25), but worth the experience.

Sadly, my untrained apple eye has no idea which varieties are which…

But they make really delicious pies, applesauce and for ordinary snacking! Since some of the apples are pony sized (tinier than my fist), they are also Cricket the pony approved! He couldn’t stop licking his lips, which sadly, I did not get a video of…

Where are your favorite places to go apple picking in Washington? I stayed close to home, but I’ve heard great thinking about the apples in Wenatchee. Someday I’ll get out there in the fall to try some orchards out there. I’ve also scouted out a farm that grows my favorite: Cortland apples, right here in Washington. I’m getting ready to mark my calendar now!

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