Hands On The Earth Orchard
Romance is in the air. A brisk windy autumn day, the Schuylkill River brown and full from upstream storms. Clouds break up long enough for a sunny stroll to my favorite produce stand. To my true autumnal love, fresh apple cider.
Dave tells me he can sometimes get four gallons of cider per bushel of apples. The latest press, just a day ago, is giving him a respectable 3.7 gallons. The pint of cider I enjoy was made with nearly four apples. And why, Dave, is cider brown? That’s because it oxidizes as soon as it is pressed. The flavor is not affected a bit. The fresh cider tastes like healthy goodness.
If you hear crunch-crunch through the leaves behind you, it may not be a prospective paramour trying to catch your glance. They may just want to know where you got your cider. 🙂
In the steel town of my parents’ childhood, life moved at a different pace. Many people lacked a telephone. Television was a new and rather worthless invention. Texting? The closest was telegraph and maybe a stock market ticker. No “code words”? LOL 🙂 Code words and phrases abounded, as old as the hills. Maybe written by Moses herself.
Newlyweds jokingly said they ate a lot of apples, referring to the Garden of Eden, Eve & Adam, and their newfound lust for apples. But my dentist also promotes this perfect fruit, and he’s atheist. Something about working the teeth, exercising the gum line?
Turning to his simple health advice decades ago, I’ve too decided the apple is a perfect fruit. Portable, properly packaged, pennies a pound. Maybe a bit more silver these days, but still a value.
Honeycrisps, newly picked, waft their scent from my fridge. Pink Lady, Gala, Jonagold, all delectable. Pick your favorite farmers market, find a grower, and select a few beauties of smooth unbruised skin. Prepare for deliciousness. Bonus: Your sweetheart will find your close presence even tastier. Maybe the serpent was on to something. I’ll bet a good theologian can find reference to morning groping in the Bible, right after breakfast kisses.
Lancaster County has been shipping produce to Philadelphia since the mid-1700s. Hands On The Earth Orchard from Lititz PA continues this tradition, weekly attending a Saturday farmers market along Walnut Street at Rittenhouse Square.
Native Americans, in what would become Pennsylvania, practiced agriculture for centuries before the arrival of Europeans. By the eleventh century, they had developed a high-yield system of slash and burn farming. Creating fields by clearing brush, and girdling and burning trees to let the sun reach the soil, they then planted beans, corn, and squash together – a method of planting that was advantageous to the crops and the people. Beans climbed up the cornstalks and fixed nitrogen in the soil that fertilized the corn and squash. The resulting network of roots and tendrils inhibited weed growth and helped to retain moisture in the soil. Beans, corn, and squash – better known to the Indians as the Three Sisters – provided a very nutritious diet that was high in amino acids, fiber, protein, and vitamins. http://explorepahistory.com