Serving Others

Johnny Appleseed has nothing on my farmers.

Our ward was assigned a row or two of Red Delicious apples at the Caldwell Orchard to pick for the Bishops’ Storehouse. David and I decided that it would be a good experience for the kiddos to learn about agriculture and serving others.

Finding our way on a hunch, we arrived at the hilltop orchard around six in the evening. The view of the Snake River winding through the golden fields below as the setting sun kissed the peaks of the Owyhee mountains made the trip worthwhile whether we picked any apples or not. The crisp air, laced with the musky smell of fallen leaves and fallen apples, officially declared that summer had waned into autumn.

We trudged down our assigned row with two picking baskets and an aluminum ladder, looking upward to find where the last family had stopped picking. Maddy was constantly scooping up apples from the ground and putting them into my basket as we walked. I had to keep telling her and the boys that if it’s on the ground, you can pick it. Once we found our spot, they weren’t interested in what was on the ground.

The gnarled trees were laden with ripe, red apples the size of Texas Grapefruit. You had to be careful not to pluck one from a clump just above your head or you’d get bonked on the noggin a la Newton. Needless to say the baskets had to be emptied at regular intervals into the loading crates placed here and there along the trees because the apples were so large and plentiful.

D.J. and Devin enjoyed climbing the ladder to reach the topmost apples and more importantly, they enjoyed watching the rest of us on the ground dart between the branches to avoid being hit by incoming a-bombs.

We stayed until it was too dark to see what you were picking, gleaned a few apples that had just fallen from the trees and made our way home, around the lake we spent so many hours on this summer. In the month that followed, we made two more treks out to the orchard, the last visit ended with a promise to come back next year. In each of the kids rooms, you’ll find a Styrofoam cup, potting soil and an apple seed, “We want to grow our own orchard.”

(pictures to come)


  1. Forever Young said...

    That does sound like a good time. I love the smell of fall, the leaves on the ground, crunching while you walk. I love the smell of fires in fireplaces while I am walking crunching the leaves :) Then you get to eat the apples in apple crisp and with caramel :) UMMMM makes me hungry just typing it.