A day on the Apple Farm
August 16, 2012 § 2 Comments
Stuck in bumper to bumper traffic for two hours on 101 — making the total drive home about five hours — it was easy to forget that we were coming back from an overnight stay at The Apple Farm, a lazy night and day spent eating, exploring the various ice cream and baked goods options, and sampling a variety of apples, straight from the trees surrounding our little blue doored cottage. A sugar-crusted blueberry scone and honeyed sticky bun from the Downtown Healdsburg Bakery. A scoop of fresh mint chip ice cream, and an assortment of cookies — peanut butter and ginger molasses, our favorites!— from Paysanne in Boonville. Later on, a couple more scoops of homemade ice cream in large waffle cones, in the cold, breezy, seaside town of Fort Bragg.
At the farm, I somehow managed to score the comfy bed in the cottage, snuggled under five quilts and duvets, a heavy shield against the chilly air coming in through the many open windows. Outside, rows of apple trees stretched into the distant dry, yellow hills, most of the fruit still green, firm, and tart to the taste, as the season for most apple varieties begins in September. Still, there were several kinds for sale at the farm stand — the royalties originally from Minnesota, the pink ladies, tinged pink on the inside as well as out — which was self-service on an honor basis. Lines of apple cider vinegar and syrup, jams in apricot, plum strawberry and blackberry, fig and apple chutneys, and cold apple juice in the fridge, next to a small haul of beets and kale.
Breakfast was served in the main building, a very simple affair of crusty toast, with holes where the melted butter seeped through onto the plate below. Little bowls of apricot and strawberry jam (strawberry jam tart recipe to come — they just came out of the oven and are simply adorable!). Raw milk from the farm cows for coffee and black tea. Thick yogurt, topped with raspberries, and, for me, a swirl of strawberry jam and raw cane sugar crystals.
Down the road, kids played in the stream under the bridge, and I turned off into the state park for a quiet run in the shade of the towering trees. The smell of burning wood for campfires creeping in in the evening and then, again, in the early morning. Damp cold air, with just a spit of rain, that melted into the heat of an inland summer.