By Sherry. It feels like apple picking weather here in Northern Virginia
Today we continue to celebrate the release of Seeds of Deception by Sheila Connolly, the tenth book in her wonderful Orchard Mystery series. Here’s a little about the book: The New York Times bestselling author of A Gala Event returns with newlyweds Meg and Seth Chapin who should be worried about writing thank you notes, not taking a juicy bite out of crime…
With the bushels of time they spent organizing their wedding, Meg and Seth didn’t have a chance to plan a honeymoon. But now that winter has arrived, there’s not much to do at the orchard. So with their shared love of history and all things apple, they pick Thomas Jefferson’s orchards at Monticello as the perfect getaway.
While they enjoy the beautiful sights, there’s a rotten addition to the agenda when Meg’s parents discover their handyman dead in the backyard. With a bitter police chief eyeing Meg’s father as a suspect, Meg and Seth have to cut their honeymoon short to find the root of the problem.
Orchards are wondrous places full of change, new beginnings, and falls full of fruit. Wickeds, have you visited any orchards? Do you have a favorite memory from one?
Edith: I’ve gone apple picking every fall for years. Lately I only have to go a mile away to the fabulous Cider Hill Orchard, where I stopped in yesterday for fresh eggs and cider, and where I take my young friends on our days together. I used to live across the street from Long Hill Orchards in West Newbury, and they had a late fall apple to die for. The variety is Spartan, and the flavor is so rich and winey, the texture perfectly crisp and not too watery – but alas they don’t pick them any more! I’ve searched for that apple at other orchards with no luck. So I might have to plant one.
Liz: Love orchards. I worked at one in college – Mann Orchards in Methuen, Mass. There was just something about the atmosphere in there that made fall come alive, from the smell of the apple pies to watching the bakers make the homemade apple crisp. I have some great fall memories from working there.
Sherry: My grandfather had a wonderful orchard on top of a hill at his farm in Novinger, Missouri. I loved walking through it and climbing the trees. It was ever changing bare branches, bud, blooms, tiny apples, trees laden with apples. My grandfather would graft branches from one tree to another to create new varieties. Their back porch was always full of bushel baskets of apples. It was a magical place.
Jessie: A neighboring town to mine, across the border into Maine, has many orchards. My favorite of these is Kelly Orchards where for many years my family has purchased a crate of apples with which to make cider. We have an antique cider mill and invite friends and family for a potluck event every year at which we turn the 14 bushel of apples into gallons and gallons of cider. It is one of my favorite things to do each October. Everyone helps to grind, press or bottle and everyone takes home fresh, sweet cider. That being said, my very favorite orchard of all has to be Old Orchard Beach, Maine!
Barb: When they were young, we always took our kids apple picking. Our favorite spot was Tougas Family Farm in Northboro, MA. There was a lot of good-natured arguing, and cautioning, and carrying a tired child up from the bottom of the orchard–along with the apples. But it remains one my happiest fall memories. My son and daughter-in-law have continued the tradition with our grandchild. Last weekend they went apple-picking and did a corn maze and a hayride, and best of all–made an apple pie afterward.
Julie: OK, I wasn’t sure if I should admit this or not. The closest I’ve ever come to apple picking are stopping by a farm stand on the North Shore, getting a bag of apples and some cider donuts. Pitiful, I know. (I write about a town called Orchard for heaven’s sake.) Working on changing that this fall, though I’ve heard the drought has been tough on the apple crop.
Readers: Have you been to an orchard? Apple or some other fruit or nut?