Sunday, September 20, 2009

Too Late For The Apples

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.


spookydragonfly said...

Hi Mo...Beautiful landscape shots! So serene...the girls look like they enjoyed themselves. I share in your grief over the inhumane treatment and slaughter of animals, yet we are a civilized society? Happy fall to you!

Mo said...

I agree Spooky, there is so much in our society that is so very uncivilized and cruel. Makes me too sad when I start to think about it too much. Happy fall to you too. I am sure the leaves are turning beautifully in your lovely woods!

bodaat said...

you know, i should really just become a vegetarian because i hate the way that animals are killed as well. i don't know i just don't do it! i don't think that i would miss meat too much however i think i might crave a hot dog or a cheesburger now and then. yum!

your trip looks lovely...i've never heard of that orchard. was the weather cool? i might have to look in to it next time! i heard of a pecan picking place that is run by monks but don't know where it is.

Mo said...

Bo, I feel wierd now that we have ordered the beef because I keep thinking I might have actually met the animal that we get! :( Nothing like being faced with something like that to make one think.

Really though, I am not so totally against eating meat, just against how animals are treated, and the awful lives they have, quite apart from contamination issues, and the awful working conditions at most meat processing plants.

It is such an individual thing though like everything else.

Amy said...

What a perfectly, lovely way to spend a Sunday....and a day off work to boot! That must have felt fabulous!

I understand your dilemma with the meat. I feel like a hipocrite for buying, preparing, and feeding my family food I feel so strongly against myself. But what's a mom to do?!

Jenn said...

Thank you for the link! I've been looking for a grass-fed source for beef... we are diehard carnivores, and I've wanted, badly, to get off the factory supply train.


Mo said...

You are welcome Jenn, happy to be of use! x

Nancy T said...

Apple picking is happening now at Date Creek Ranch! At least through this weekend, and possibly longer.

Mo said...

Thanks Nancy! We are going to try to get there. It is a marvelous family run Ranch as you are probably aware. We get grass fed beef from them too and it is truly flavorful meat. :)