Pick Apples from the Bin

Blog / Monday, October 6th, 2014

I was going to write something different this week, but circumstances changed. Earlier this year, I perfected my applesauce recipe that’s the right amount of sweetness and spice and consistency. It tastes like candy, without being over sweet. It tastes like Fall, but also Spring, Summer, and Winter. It’s the right amount of everything and I wanted to share it with you, after I when to the orchard to pick apples to make it.

The problem is, I don’t have any apples to make it. I’ve already picked 10 pounds of apples this year and made them into sauce, but I wanted to make more to last me through the year with a little more comfort. I wanted to pick another bushel of apples this year and turn them all into applesauce. When we got to the orchard yesterday, however, things changed.

Right around the same time of year last year (a week or two later if I remember correctly), Ellie and I went to the Elegant Farmer Apple Orchard in Mukwonago, WI. They have a very large orchard and sell their apples at a reasonable rate. You can climb the trees and pull only the best of apples for your stash. When we went last year, we did just that and sampled a few before filling our baskets. The apples I got were mostly on the smaller end of the spectrum, and I hoped by going earlier this year I’d have a chance at some bigger apples because bigger apples means you peel less when making applesauce. It didn’t work out because when we got to the orchard, we were greeted with this sign:

There were no apples to pick at the Elegant Farmer in Mukwonago this year.
There were no apples to pick at the Elegant Farmer in Mukwonago this year.

It appears they went through and picked all the apples off the trees and dumped them into bins that you could pick apples out of, like at the supermarket. They were like larger versions of this bin:

Apple Bins with pre-picked apples
Apple Bins with pre-picked apples

Sure, apples but there’s no fun in pulling bruised pre-picked apples out of a bin. You don’t get to wander and comb the trees for the perfect hoard of perfectly red and round apples. You only get to dig to the bottom to find out that the apples get worse as you go down. Much worse. More bruised and more tossed aside.

So I didn’t get apples this weekend, and I don’t have pictures to share with my recipe.

It bothers me though that something so traditional can get so commercialized the point that it takes all the possible magic away from it. I’m sure they didn’t mean to do it, and placing bins of apples out to dig through was done for convenience and speed (which just means they can cycle you out faster so new buyers can come in and pick through them). It’s just not fair that people can’t treat a business as a means to help people remember how things used to be done instead of treating it as a bigger dollar sign every year.

Where can you go these days to buy a decent pair of shoes, for example, that you know are going to feel like quality and last and last? And, in the event that something goes wrong, where are you to go to get them repaired? Every place I can think of would rather up-sell to a new pair of shoes than help you fix the old. It’s another industry that’s taking the quality and magic out of itself for the sake of a few more sales and a few more dollars. I just wanted to pick apples, but instead, I was shown where I could buy the apple pie.

What else in this newfangled world bothers you to the point that you ask yourself, is this better? Leave a comment below and we can discuss.

2 Replies to “Pick Apples from the Bin”

  1. This is kind of different, but it’s something that really bums me out: in New England we are way into Candlepin bowling, which is different than regular ten pin. People all over New England/Canada play this version of bowling. Anyway, the main place I went to growing up was amazing. They served no food or alcohol. It was kind of sketchy. Bathrooms were gross. It smelled like cigarettes even though you couldn’t smoke there. They had a jukebox and a few pool tables. It was no frills and cheap. And no matter what time of day you went, even on a Saturday night, you wouldn’t have to wait to bowl. And if you did have to wait, it would be a short wait. Anyway, while we were in Ukraine, they turned it into a flatbread pizza place/bowling alley and added a bar. In the process, they also got rid of half the lanes. Don’t get me wrong, the pizza is great, the beer selection/mixed drinks are fantastic, and the general vibe is really fun. But, now if you want to bowl, the lines are insane, and if you want to reserve a lane, you have to have at least eight people to bowl. It’s essentially impossible now to just spontaneously say, “Let’s go bowling!” I made that mistake once and it would’ve been a three hour wait had I opted to actually wait. While before there seemed to be a great mix of children, adults, older people, and 20-somethings, now it seems to be mainly 20-somethings. It’s disappointing. They made a good thing different but still good, yet in the process, made it nearly impossible for people to be able to just go out and have a fun night of bowling. And since it’s now a bar too, it automatically changes the vibe from potential family fun, to hipsters getting drunk. LAME.

    Thank you for reading my rant.

    1. That’s the same thing to me. People trying to take something from your childhood and repackage it so they can make a bigger buck. In doing so, the crowd changes and the meaning of it all changes. The original customer is lost and replaced by people who don’t really care they are being exploited so easily.

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