Indy Treasures: How about these apples?

Pictured+above+is+a+path+that+runs+through+the+Anderson+Orchard.+The+Anderson+Orchard+has+over+150+acres+of+activities+to+enjoy.+

Rae Updike

Pictured above is a path that runs through the Anderson Orchard. The Anderson Orchard has over 150 acres of activities to enjoy.

Rae Updike , Reporter

 

Welcome to Anderson Orchard, where the produce is fresh and the experience is memorable. Anderson Orchard is owned by Paul and Carolyn Anderson, Robin Anderson and Iran and Erin Anderson and is home to an abundance of fresh grown produce and everything fall.

My mother and I hopped out of the car at the orchard on Sunday, Sept. 24, and headed straight for the Apple Barn, which was right in front of the playground. Outside of the barn, visitors can pick out gourds, dried Indian corn, pre-bagged apples and various nuts. Inside, they can find even more: popcorn kernels in jars, pumpkin rolls, apple cider, apple butter and a variety of apple-based products.

After we made a lap inside, we went behind the barn to find a craft fair going on. The craft fair is an annual event that, fortunately for us, is held on the last weekend of September. Under a huge tent, there were at least 50 tables set up with various goods to buy including pottery, pastries, handmade American Girl doll clothing, dog stockings and so many other items that were made by the vendors themselves.

After about an hour we left the craft fair and headed for the concession stand. The line was long, but the menu drew us in to stay. It included dishes such as fried biscuits with Anderson Orchard apple butter ($2.50), fried apple pie ($3.50), apple cobbler ($4.50) and of course the cider slushes ($1 or $2). I got a dish called caramel apple fondue, which was a sweet apple sliced into six pieces with hot caramel that basically dissolved when I ate it. My mom, on the other hand, got an elephant ear, the apple cobbler with soft serve ice cream and a cider slush. After we had commandeered our treats, we sat down at the picnic tables in the shade of the Apple Barn.

Now be fair warned, all the caramel-flavored goodness of the food we were eating attracted a decent amount of bees. My own word of advice is to try and not sit near any of the trash cans. That’s where most of them dwell.

The next stop on our path was to hit the apple orchard. We hopped back in the car and headed to the entrance. There waited a man with lists of the apples in season and two differently sized bags, a half bushel and a full bushel. We took a half bushel bag and headed on our way. The apples that were in prime picking season when I went were the Jonagolds, Golden Delicious, Cortland, Gala and Red Delicious.

The orchard was neatly organized with rows of apple trees. There was one dirt road in the middle of the orchard with drivable paths sprouting from it. To the left, driving into the orchard, there was a big, not-too-steep hill covered in trees. To the right, there was a slope going down to two ponds where people could pay to fish. Down the slope to the right, there were apple trees, a pumpkin patch and the chestnut trees.

We parked our car and got right to business picking apples. Even though parts of the tree branches were literally covered in apples, we had some trouble finding the ripe ones. What I’ve found to be the trick in picking apples is that if they don’t come off the tree easily, then they aren’t ready to be picked. Now I’m not saying that they have to fall right off the tree into the picker’s hand, but it shouldn’t be a game of tug of war.

After we had picked our fill of apples we paid at the entrance to the orchard and went back to the Apple Barn to grab plastic buckets for raspberry picking. To get to the raspberry bushes, we had to cross the street. It was late in the afternoon at the end of the weekend, so there weren’t very many ripe berries. There were, however, a great deal of unripe berries that were soon to ripen the following week.

Before we left the orchard, we went into the Apple Barn and bought apple cider and caramel apples. After the transaction was complete, we went back to our car and left to return home, already reminiscing about the day we just had.