The Orchard at Apolloson Acres

  (Lodi, Ohio)
An Apple a Day...
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Wild Violet Jelly

I threw together a few batches of Wild Violet Jelly a few weeks back. If your yard has sprouted with these BEAUTIFUL little wild flowers, give it a try!

Please refer to my personal blog for pics - again, the pic uploader on this blog site won't cooperate :(

http://novicelife.blogspot.com/2010/04/wild-violet-jelly.html

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New Website!

It is official - we've launched our website :)

www.apollosonacres.com

Please take a peek and enjoy

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Balancing Work...and work

Gosh, I have been snapping the most wonderful pictures on the farm this week; I so wish I could share them with you all, but I just cannot seem to get the picture uploader for this blog to cooperate :(

The weather here has been wonderful all week. I find myself sitting at my desk, at work [my day job paycheck job!], thinking about all the things I can accomplish once I get home....as I am doing right now.

And gosh darn it if I don't get home, get my daily barn chores done and then fizzle out for the night :( I have no energy left to do all the things I dreamt of doing during the day, while I was sitting at a desk!

In a perfect world, working at home on the farm would be my day job...and hubby's too....but for now, I suppose, we continue the 9-5 routine and spread ourselves thin over the weekends :) As we always do....because we need the paychecks....and we love the farm work!

Have a accomplishing weekend all :)

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Spring has Sprung!

Spring has sprung at Apolloson Acres.....sorta!

The sun is out, the melted snow has left a swamp land, horse hair is flying and we're pruning our orchard!!

Stay Tuned for more frequent updates....and pictures if we can get the uploader to cooperate!

We want to know -- what determines that Spring has Sprung at your homestead?

 
 

Officially Winter

There is one sure way I mark that Winter has arrived here on the farm - FROZEN WATER BUCKETS. And that my friends, was official for the 2009-10 Winter Season as of this morning. *sigh*
 
Oh how I am really not prepared for this yet! I had no ice scooper to break up the ice and scoop the chunks out of the water. So naturally, I used my hand, which lasted a good 15 seconds before I had to stick it back in my pocket for fear my fingers might fall off. And I had 4 buckets to tend too.
 
The water pump we used last year is not working right now (what a surprise)! So I have been using a hose hooked up to a house spicket. Well, hoses don't work all to well when they are frozen. So now, I have to carry a massive bucket to the house, fill it, waddle to the barn with it, dump in someones bucket, and repeat then 3 more times!
 
Ahhh yes, Winter, I've missed you so!  The least you can do, if you have to be here, is drop some snow on the ground so the horses can go roll around in it!
 
 
 

A New Tradition, An Old Tradition


Today flew by! It's amazing how a day off work goes so quickly!



For Thanksgiving dinner with my family, I was in charge of bringing Apple Sauce & Apple Pie and I also volunteered my Apple Bread :) Somehow, I see, for as long as we live on an orchard, this possibly becoming tradition that I am the one who brings the Apple Filled Foods!


I used the red fleshed apples we have for my homemade Apple Sauce and I must say, it is dang good :) Even my husband had a pleasantly shocked look on his face when I saw him taste it!

I popped the apple pie in the oven the morning of thanks to my Homemade Apple Pie filling canned and ready for use!


And last, but not least, I baked up some of my 'Homemadefromscratch' Apple Bread :) This makes my whole house smell wonderful as it bakes. It takes some time to whip up, but it's well worth it. I wanted to simmer a crock pot of apple butter to can in the morning too, but I was bummed because I was out of a few ingredients and just didn't have the energy to go to the store and get them!


I was excited to taste the full spread. My Mom had to work during the day so my little brother was in charge of the Turkey and sides! He's a good cook so I was happy to try it out and it was delish!!
I took great care in wrapping our BINGO gifts too! Bingo gifts you say? Well, ever since I was little, we always played BINGO on Thanksgiving at my Great Grandmothers house. This is a tradition that goes back to the days when my dad was a kid at Great Grandma Kulon's (his grandma). One of his great Uncles I believe it was, decided to play BINGO to keep all the kids occupied. It turned into a yearly tradition where everyone coming to Grandma Kulon's on Thanksgiving would bring some BINGO gifts, wrapped [usually in Xmas paper] and marked with a description of 'boy', 'girl', 'adult', 'anyone', or some even were marked 'Grandma' and we all knew those were usually paper plates or paper towels! Why she always got that, I have no idea, since she'd set out her finest dishes for mobs of people to dine on!
One year, myself or maybe it was one of my sisters, got a BINGO gifts that was two brass seagulls! I guess they were supposed to be a wall decoration, but to young kids, it seemed more like someone who robbed their attic because they had no time to go pick up some BINGO gifts at the store. We laughed about the brass seagulls for years to come and they became an inside joke!
After Grandma Kulon passed and the tradition of going to her house on the holidays was no longer, we still carried on the traditions, including BINGO, with our immediate family and grandparents. And of course, those brass seagulls show up every year as one of the BINGO gifts! We even somehow managed to get a second gag BINGO gift in the mix now too; this one rock hard, age old Peanut Brittle, that crazy Aunt 'Darla' won one year, opened, and ate a piece! I had the honor of wrapping that beauty up for this years BINGO and my brother-in-law, who was trying to be so careful not to get the peanut brittle ended up with it!!
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Another Beautiful Morning

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Good Morning!

We have the most beautiful sunrises (& sunsets for that matter!) on the farm. I wish I had a good camera to capture them all! I could do a daily blog just posting the pictures of the days sunrise and set!

Anyways, here is this mornings sunrise, courtesy of my cell camera. This is the second or so morning this season that we woke up to a complete frost over everything. Although it means the snow is right around the corner, it looked beautiful. The picture doesn't even do it justice!

On another note, I am pleased to announce the our first apple picking season has officially ended! We still have apples & quince for sale, but the picking is D.O.N.E!

We have learned SO much this past season and although we are well ready for a long rest, we're also anxious to get started on next season, putting to use some of the knowledge and things we have taken away from this year. And I suspect we won't be resting long; pruning starts right after the first of the year!

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An Extra Hour? Or More Light?

So this weekend is Daylight savings time.

Some people welcome it, happy to receive that extra hour of sleep!

And then, there may be those few, like me, who dread it! Living on a farm, I spend the majority of my time outside. Since I still have to work a day job, daylight savings makes the time I have when I do get home all the more precious. There is only so much I can get accomplished outside in the dark!

I am wondering how many farmers out there share my same train of thought? At my day job, most of my co-workers are welcoming that extra hour as they go home and find ways to spend their evening indoors. Just because the sun goes down sooner, it doesn't mean my evening line-up of chores etc changes!

 

 
 

Picking the Reds

Apple season is winding down...or should I say 'picking' season.

We have a few trees left needing picked, but they are Red Delicious and honestly, our Red's are not selling. So rather than worry about grabbing every last apple, I think I have decided to concentrate on selling what is ready to go!

It is unfortunate the Red Delicious Apple gets such a 'bad rap' from people because most are used to tasting the cardboard evil twin that you find in the stores. A true Red straight off an orchard tree, especially when naturally chilled from the morning dew, is delectable!

In addition to apples everywhere, we have about 8 Quince trees which all just harvested. Although tart to the taste when eaten raw, they fill up the orchard with a wonderful, sweet pineapple aroma and I love to sit some in a bowl, in my kitchen, until I am ready to cook with them so they infuse the house with their sweet smell!

You know, some say it was actually a Quince that Adam gave to Eve, not an apple. But I'm not here to debate religion! ;)

Enjoy your harvest season!

 

A Quince Ripe and Ready for Pickin'

 

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In The Dark, We Find Light!

Here in Northeast Ohio, Winter is creeping in faster than most of us would like. Usually I welcome the brisk October air, however, ours this year is damp and rainy.

Apples aren't getting picked as fast as they should, horses are getting outside as much as they'd like and we are buring through our woodpile faster than we should be for October! Oh the joys of Mother Nature!

Rumor has it we'll be having Indian Summer next week....I know we are all longing for it!

It is hard to stay motivated when the long summer days turn into long winter nights.

Our Pears are all but long gone for the season :( ........But our Quince are almost ripe; I am looking forwarding to trying my hand at Quince Marmalade and Quince Wine.

As always, Apples are still in full swing. I am looking forward to next harvest already as I have learned so much this first year and look forward to moving my knowledge forward and marketing our produce even better next year.

There is no doubt we'll have leftovers from this season!

 
 

Apples and Hay and Rain.....Oh My!

What a busy weekend! Friday evening was to be devoted to apple picking. We are in FULL SWING with trees ripening and needing harvested. Of course though, we could not do just that! I discovered that our hay barn roof sprung a leak so we had to move hay around before we lost it to mold :/ UGH, I cannot win with the hay situation can I?

Saturdays Farmer's Market was slower than usual. Our location was moved due to a festival they were having. However, we had two orders totaling 17 bushels that were being picked up around 5pm that day so I recruited my workers, aka Mom & Dad, and we got to picking! Meanwhile, my husband was putting a new roof on the hay barn. I swear somewhere in the distance I heard a faint "ChaChing CHA CHING" in the wind. *sigh*

Sunday was another canning day. I made some relish with the last of our peppers and onions from the garden and continued on with the pears - this time, Pear Sauce. Yummmm is it GOOD! Allen was splitting wood and made the first fire of the season in the fireplace. It smelled wonderful outside.

As if we have loads of time on our plates, I have been throwing around the ida of starting to raise dairy goats or sheep for wool. I am sure those who are experienced in these fields can tell, just by ready my statement, that I am clueless! It looks like I will be spending my winter researching!!
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A Variety of Apples

Well we are certainly having a wet week at the orchard! We have lots of apples harvesting this week and we were out in the rain last night picking until dusk.

One very common apple we're harvesting this weekend is the Red Delicious. Many people choose it because of it't looks, however, it is not always the most 'delicious' apple' to eat! Straight from our orchard, you certainly can taste a difference between the store bought Red Delicious.

Soon we'll have winter upon us and we'll be discussing all of next years growing crops. We'll be putting in more pear trees, but we'd like to put in more apple trees as well.

We want to know - what is your favorite apple variety!!??

 
 

Mousing on the Farm

So much for mousing!

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Farmer's Need Rain!

Alas, the rain has hit us in NE Ohio! It's a much needed rain, especially on our farm where it fills our cistern, among other things!

Apple Trees don't like "wet feet", but they do need a good watering every once and again. Horses do not like wet feet either, but when monsoons come through, we find ourselves with a flooded barn aisle :/

It is always nice listening to the thunderstorms while you sleep, but in the back of my mind, all I think is "Are the stalls flooding"? I think we've raised them enough to keep the horses dry, but that dang aisle never stays dry when we have a rain overload. I know what you are thinking - "Put in drainage". I wish it were that easy. One side of the barn has the sepctic next to it and the other side, the cistern. So until we somehow figure out where all the plumbing and piping is for these two systems, we won't be digging in any drainge.

It's funny too; I was always under the impression that cats do not like to get wet, but my barn cats romp around in the rain like they roll in the wild catnip!

Cheers to a good week, some much need rain, and lots of apple picking!

 
 
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