Yesterday we decided to have a family outing and go apple picking. I even took the day off work so it was quite the occasion.
We drove up about twenty miles northwest of Wickenburg to a place called Date Creek Ranch. It is a place I have wanted to visit for some time because they raise grass fed cattle, and I have been trying to persuade Robert that it would be a good idea for us to order a quarter cow from there because of it's superior quality and taste. (Not that I will be tasting it of course!)
It was a beautiful drive, one of those that makes me appreciate the beauty of the desert. I love the color of the creosote in the foreground of this picture with the cholla, and then the mountains behind.
And look at these amazing ocotillo's in their natural setting. Gorgeous!
The ranch has apple orchards that open at the beginning of September, and as we discovered soon after we arrived we were a little too late in the season to get very many apples. What was left were very high up, and difficult to reach, but we had a great time nonetheless in the cool shade of the orchards.
The girls both took their turn riding on Daddy's shoulders and reaching up for apples.
They also had fun riding back in the wheelbarrow.
We visited with the young cattle for a while too, and that was enough to make Robert decide that we would order some beef. (And in my usual sentimental way it made me a little sad as well).
A quarter cow will last us a VERY long time at the slow rate my family consumes beef. I have very mixed feelings about the meat industry generally in relation to the environmental impact, and the truly awful way in which most meat animals are raised, and killed. However, these cows are raised humanely, naturally, happily, and safely. They have good lives, and that makes me feel a little better.
We chatted with the friendly lady farmer for a while about farming, growing veggies in the desert, and other such things, and we left with a few pounds of apples feeling grateful that we had experienced such a fun and relaxing day. Next year we will be back a week or so earlier.
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