Scenes of sunrises cascading over icy crystals and fog laden valleys have replaced the vibrant bustle of harvest. Winter is knocking on the door as the last fruits of the season are taken from the field and readied for market. Flannel shirts and stocking caps are the work uniform of the day as short-sleeves and ball caps can no longer keep the morning air from chilling to the bone. As trees go dormant, their leaves have turned to shades of orange and yellow, while others have already given up their foliage and started to sleep.
For days on end, fruit has been picked by countless handful after countless handful. Nearly 7 billion pounds of apples will be harvested in Eastern Washington this year. That accounts for 70% for all the apples picked in the US. Our farms, nestled into the western edges of the Yakima Valley, hold some of the last fruits to be harvested for the season.
We purposely allow our cider apples to hang a bit longer than most to make sure they are at their ripest before we press them. We believe this gives us the best juice, with the highest sugars and aromas, and represents what our orchards produce.
Four months have passed since the beginning of harvest. First apricots, then cherries, then pears, then apples. A marathon of picking, hauling, sorting, and packing fruit. Now we can see the finish line just ahead and will be glad for another season of fruitful labor behind us.