Peach and Apple Picking – A Labor Day Weekend Adventure

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom on September 7, 2011

Our family spent the Labor Day weekend up in Holland, MI, with all of Steve’s immediate family. We had an amazing weekend hanging out, playing in the waves on the beaches of Lake Michigan, walking through the woods, playing tennis, and enjoying our time together as a family. Sunday morning it was a little too chilly for the beach…so we headed out to Crane’s Orchard for some good old fashioned apple and peach picking. (If you are ever in the area, you must stop in…it will not disappoint!)

After checking in to get bags and do a little “apple tasting” of the varieties that were ripe for picking, the little cousins climbed right into the wagon…ready to be whisked into the rows of trees.

Tyler did not last long in the wagon…he was more interested in the sticks, touching the apples, and…

…running under the trees.

What. A. Stinker.

And he knows it too!

Grandma and Ryan pulling the wagon with all the apples they picked to the checkout.

We picked almost 30 pounds of gala and golden sup apples. We never made it down the hill to the sweet Blondee variety…as we were too busy chasing an unnamed toddler through the orchard! ;)

Then we headed over to the peach orchard that was on the other side of the apple tree fields.

More peach tasting…this is the Loring variety, and the one we picked the most of.

The peach trees.

Me. In a peach tree.

Because the most ripe peaches were at the top. And they told us to climb the trees to reach those at the top.

And I wasn’t the only one in the trees.

Charlie climbed into at least 6 different trees…on his own personal quest to find the best tasting peach!

He thinks this one was “squishy” enough!

After climbing into a few trees with me there to help, he decided he was ready to go up on his own!

Monkey Boy!!!

And it was Tyler’s job to taste-test the peaches as we picked them. Well, not all of them.

But he sure seems to be enjoying this one!!!

And another bite.

This kid really takes this quality control thing pretty seriously!

Tyler also got a good look at the ripe peaches high up in the trees, atop Steve’s shoulders.

He’s so intrigued!

And in the end, our boys picked 22 lbs of tree ripened peaches! Pictured is one of 2 bags.

We spent $35.75 on our peaches and apples…and couldn’t be more excited to have all the fresh picked produce to take advantage of this fall…and perhaps into the winter!

(The $.70/lb price for peaches is better than what I’ve seen here in Dayton this summer…and the $.70/lb price for apples is about what I would find here locally.)

It’s the fresh picked, tree ripened that you can’t find in stores (and sometimes even at farmer’s markets) that I’m excited about!!! Plus, we’re making “healthy memories” and having tons of fun with our boys in the process!

My Peaches and Apple Plan

Peaches

  • Snacks
  • Grilled with pork chops
  • Flash freeze for smoothies
  • Slice and flash freeze for cobblers and crisps

Apples

  • Snacks
  • 2 big batches of Maple Sweetened Slow Cooker Applesauce
  • Apple Pie Filling - Sliced and tossed with flour, butter and spices, then frozen to use later for pies, tarts, etc.
  • Slice and flash freeze for smoothies – I love the extra flavor that fresh, frozen apple slices give to smoothies.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Lindsey September 7, 2011 at 8:07 am

How fun! Your littles are adorable :) So glad you were able to enjoy a relaxing weekend with your family. What an incredible price for peaches and apples, I never see them that low. Except now I suppose, many states away :)

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Lisa September 7, 2011 at 9:05 am

I agree with Lindsey! Pick your own prices for apples around here are $1.89 lb. More than twice what you paid! Peaches were marked very low for $.99 lb. Great deal you got!

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Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom September 7, 2011 at 12:26 pm

Thanks Lisa…I really didn’t think we would get much…until I heard the price. Then I told the kids to pick however much they liked! :)

It was lots of fun!

Erin

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Nancy September 7, 2011 at 9:52 am

Just found your site today–on a recommendation from my sister. The idea of cooking inexpensively is intriguing. Do you focus on buying “good deals” or using ingredients that typically don’t cost much?

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Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom September 7, 2011 at 12:26 pm

Hey Nancy…welcome!

To answer your question, a little of both! I’m always looking for the best prices on the highest quality foods as I can find. I cook from scratch, and we eat very little processed foods. I do my best to never pay full price for anything…so I plan my meals around what’s on sale, or what I have stockpiled in the freezers.

Hope we can help you start spending less at the store!

Erin

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Megan September 7, 2011 at 7:18 pm

We LOVE Crane Orchard! We have been there many times, including on our honeymoon almost 12 years ago, and the Pie Pantry is a must for lunch and all you can drink apple cider. I started salivating when I saw this post. :)

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Mar H September 7, 2011 at 8:02 pm

We too love Crane’s Pie Pantry – we were there twice this summer, after picking blueberries in South Haven. But the peaches weren’t ready yet. :(

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Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom September 8, 2011 at 6:56 am

Awesome…might be worth a trip back!?! :)

I wish we could have picked blueberries too…oh well!

Erin

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