Friday, April 20, 2012

Big Day Out: Apple Picking

Its apple pickin season here in NSW, and last Sunday we undertook our annual trip to Bilpin to visit Shield's Orchard.  This trip also involved the zig-zag railway AND Kookootonga Chestnut farm, but more on them later.

Bill Shields keeps the Shield's Orchard website up to date, so if you are going you'll know what you'll be picking.  They the have a huge variety, from Sundowner to Pink Ladies, Braeburn to Golden Delicious (plus others, just ask if you've got a favourite).  The kids and I love slightly sour Granny Smiths, and we were spot on timing-wise, the Granny Smiths were dripping off the trees.
Being 6ft 5 is useful, and not just when there are lightbulb issues
The kids love the place, though the allure of picking apples did wear off after a time.  Still Miss 6 found other ways to amuse herself.
Her: I've found a 2-leaf clover, they are very rare
Me: You just pulled a leaf off that one
Her: No I didn't
Me: Yes you did
Her: I'm going to make a wish and keep it... "I wish I could find a four leaf clover"
Our 10kgs of Granny Smiths... (last year we had over 40kgs, but this year I was being restrained, though, if given the chance I'd go back and clear out anything that was good for cider)
Around 10kgs
Ambling back to the shed.
Following the white line 
Cannot recommend Shields Orchard highly enough.  Awesome day out, and Bill and co are lovely, and so interested and passionate about apples, their Orchard, and being a food supplier in a modern environment.  One of their reasons for being is to educate kids and families about how and where their food comes from, and they do it spectacularly well.

This year Bill has Julie apples.  This is a new variety for which Shield's have plant breeders rights.  Bill was kind enough to let us taste a Julie and then gave us four to take home.  They were beautiful. Possibly one of the most divine apples I've ever tasted. Crisp and sweet and perfectly apple-y!
A Julie
Thanks Bill and everyone at Shields.  See you all next season :)

3 people love me:

Tiff said...

That is something I have always wanted to do! It sounds great.

Bill Shields said...

Hi Caitlyn, Just wanted to say a big thank you for your wonderful blog on your visit to our orchard. It is great to get some feedback . Have put link on our website
Many Thanks Bill & Julie

Caitlyn Nicholas said...

Thanks Bill and Julie!  And thank you for a lovely visit :)  We are so looking forward to seeing you guys next year!