Friday, October 4, 2013

apple picking in minnesota with olive.

Olive and I went apple picking on Tuesday.  We invited a few friends but everyone was either busy, under the weather, or out of town.  It seemed clear to me that it was going to be one of our very last really nice days so, despite it just being the two of us, we headed out anyways.  We do plenty of things on our own but this seemed like something she might enjoy with a friend.. but it wasn't a big deal.. she had a great time if it was just with silly me.

When looking up directions I peeked at where the orchard was on a map.  I immediately recognized the area - which is a little random and surprising.  It's on a rural highway but not a main one that you would ever be on unless you were going somewhere specific like this orchard.  We used to have friends that lived out in Dassel and we would drive down highway 12, through Delano, to get to them.  One time we visited the highway was closed and we had to take a long detour which went right past this orchard.  Somehow, from the satellite view, I recognized a couple of curves in the road and was like "oh hey, we've driven by there!"... so that was amusing.

We hopped in the car around 9:30 and headed on our way - Fall Harvest Orchard is about a 40 minute drive straight west.  I've been trying to get more and eat more protein this past week, to see if it makes me less tired in the afternoons, so I reluctantly stopped at McDonald's in Delano for a coffee and an egg mcmuffin thing.  Olive was confused as to where our muffin was after we drove away.

We arrived at the orchard and Olive immediately hopped out of the car, across the parking lot, to a pen full of farm animals.  Though she was a little distracted by the chickens roaming the parking lot along the way.


Inside she found a few pigs, cows, chickens, and ducks.


We headed down the road to find more pens and fences and nooks full of animals.


She was really amused by the goats.


I think this teeny tiny goat was her favorite.


And then a duck showed up.


Olive really liked the horns on this goat.  She kept trying to touch them but the goat didn't seem to like that.  But Olive really liked the goat's reaction.


We found a little building to wander into and Olive wanted to take all of these home.


I warned her she might get pecked.  I didn't really trust them... I mean, look at that guy...


And then Olive tried to follow this pheasant looking things but they quickly hurried out the back door.


Next door we found a corn bin.  Tyler was very concerned about this when he saw a photo online - it sounds like there is a bit of fear surrounding giant piles of corn when growing up in Iowa.. but this is clearly not a silo full of corn in which a person or child could become buried or stuck.  But the instant concern it evoked was.. cute.


Olive mostly had the corn thing to herself.  Any two empty Folger's containers.. ha.





She mostly had a really great time in the corn.






And then she rolled around so quickly from wall to wall... I didn't realize she could roll like that.  So fast!








Olive calmed down a bit when a little girl came inside.  She brought the buckets over to fill them together but the little girl was just hovering by the stairs - I don't think she was too sure about the corn thing.


After getting out of the corn and picking it off of basically every part of her body, Olive headed toward two big tractors.  (I found corn in her underwear when we got home)


She kept asking where the pedals were and insisted that she could reach them.


When it didn't quite work on the green one she requested a try on the red one.


She still couldn't read the pedals but enjoyed the steering wheel more on the red one.


After this we went into the Apple House - basically the little shop where you can buy apples, honey, and other things.  We were there to pick apples but Olive was so interested in the children's activities and I wasn't sure how much picking stamina I had in me.. so I gave in and bought some pre-bagged apples.  We got Honeycrisp seconds, Honeycrips for pie, and some other cheap apple for eating.  We carried them back to the car and then headed back to the fun.


The next fun stop was a little shed full of hay.  For climbing in.


Olive enjoyed it but didn't understand the point.  She wanted to know why it was for climbing and where you can go.  Nowhere, really..



And then we found ourselves in the best little shed ever.  At least in the opinion of a small child.  I had hugely mixed emotions here.  Olive was SO happy and excited.  But these poor little chicks must have been so horribly terrified.  The room had signs on and in it to not leave children inside unattended but, for the most part, I was the only adult inside while it was full of little kids.  The chaos and excitement and chirping.. it was intense.


Olive wanted to touch every single chick, all at the same time.  She wanted to take every chick from every other person, too.  Though she did try to give them to the smaller kiddos.


Do you see that poor chick's face?  Zoom in...


Do you see Olive eyeing that one... she wants it.  The kid and Olive picked up a few chickens and then proceeded to squish their faces together and try to make them talk to each other.


The chicks were trying so hard to hide themselves behind their water bottles located in each corner of the room.  Poor things.  Chaos.



Olive was really excited to have two chicks that "don't match!!!"  And she kept smashing them together.  A little cute.  A little sad.  So we left the chick room so I could try to forget what just happened.


After an exciting port-potty trip Olive found these.


I think she wanted me to take a photo of her and she wanted to try each one.. but she never looked at me.


I think she was actually looking in the direction of the chicks...


We headed into the orchard to see what it was like.


Olive tried to eat everything.  So I guess it was good that we didn't actually pick apples.. maybe next year.  I'm fairly certain if we would have done it this year that each one of our picked apples would have little bit taken out of them.




She's an apple thief.


And then we found the pumpkins!  Olive seemed a little indifferent about actually picking one out.


And then she ran away.



She was finally able to sit in one of the wagon's she kept finding and I asked her to pick out a pumpkin.


She looked at maybe two.. and made a choice.  So much thought.  And then we picked out some pie pumpkins, in which she was much more interesting.  They were only $1 each so I thought they could start out as decor (though I don't really decorate) and then turn into pie filling.  I plan on freezing what I don't make into a pie so I can use it later in the year.

Overall we had a really great time together and found a great way to enjoy one of the last great days of Minnesota weather.. before the darkness and chill sets in.. ah!

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