The first part of the past week we spent in the Fuji, some of the longest rows in the orchard that seemed to stretch on and on, compelling you to glance down to the end of the row each time you dumped your bucket, past the empty bins waiting to be filled. Although there were only three rows, the crop was heavy and it took three of us several days to pick the trees clean. By Wednesday all that was left in the orchard was the Goldrush and a few cider apples.
|Bins lined-up in the Fuji|
The pace of the day felt slower than most. We worked steadily, but it felt as though there was no rush to reach the inevitable. Instead I felt a desire to savor the final moments of a long season. Taking the time to sit under the trees and share a lunch with fellow pickers or pause at the top of a ladder to take in the view of the lake and the maples as they let loose their final leaves, leaving the stage to the red and russet oaks.
Although the crew was spread out for most of the day in different parts of the orchard picking a few remaining cider apples and beginning clean-up, we all converged in the last of the Goldrush by the end of the day. Call me sentimental, but it felt rather symbolic to have the entire crew share in the last of the harvest. As I walked away from the trees I felt many things, but mostly a sense of gratitude for the harvest and for the opportunity to partake in such noble work. As the last of the bins were loaded onto the truck to be hauled back to the orchard, I took comfort in knowing there will always be another season.
|The last load of apples for the season|
|Goldrush on the last morning of picking|