In Wareham, it was cranberry bogs. Here in Manchester, it’s apple orchards. So when my son and his beloved decided to go apple picking yesterday, I went along. It was the perfect day for it – crisp air, blue skies, and foliage at its best providing the backdrop. Mad Tom’s Orchard in East Dorset had everything I could hope for – multiple varieties of apples, cider, and fresh cider donuts. The owners were friendly and informative, and the map of the orchard helpful.
Since this is my first Vermont apple picking experience, I picked enough to make Vermont applesauce. It’s my way of honoring the work of the local farmers and enjoying the fruits of their labors through Spring. It’s also my way of participating in the time-honored tradition of canning; it’s economical as well as an enjoyable way to spend a few hours.
For many years, I canned cranberries – the local harvest where I lived for twenty years. Every time I opened a jar of cranberries, I was grateful for the place I called home. It was a wonderful way to be rooted in that seacoast community. Putting up applesauce will be more of a promise – a promise to claim this new place, and let this mountain town claim me as its own. Preserving is a statement: I’m not a tourist here. I’m a local.