And So We Tumble Into Fall
Many years ago in a small mountain village in Maryland, a young girl eyed the bushels of fresh-picked apples that had just been delivered to her home. No sooner had they been deposited just outside the back door, did she grab a favorite book, select several varieties of the golden and red delicious fruit and climbed up into the tall tree in her backyard, settling down to read and eat.
It was a yearly ritual that I anticipated as September came along for as long as we lived in that town. It’s hard to say which I enjoyed more, the reading, or the eating – but it’s a memory that will stay with me forever, and that I’ve tried to recreate for my own kids – a love of reading combined with an appreciation of fresh produce and the changing of seasons.
When my husband accepted a job north of Sacramento a few years ago, we made a point of getting acquainted with some of the unique places in the area. One of those places continuously referred to as one we were told we had to visit was Apple Hill Farms. Although the farms are open year-round, Fall naturally draws some of the largest crowds – what with the harvesting of pumpkins, late summer vegetables and of course the apples. I was hooked from the visit on … as I looked about with delight at all of the apples – trying to decide which ones to bring home. Needless to say, I came home with not only the fresh apples, but the fresh apple pies, the apple butter … along with some frozen treats to bake on a crisp, chilly day.
As you can see in my blog bio, I mostly grew up in states that had more extreme seasonal changes so when I settled in the Napa Valley I must confess I missed the distinct differences of Winter-Spring-Summer-Fall.
Over the years, I’ve come to love the unique marks of what has become my favorite season of the year here in the Valley. Leaves really do change color – just take a drive into the hills in north Napa Valley. Farmer’s Markets thrive into October … in St. Helena and Napa and at the organic stores like Cal Mart, Sunshine and Whole Foods. But it’s been the changing hues in the vineyards dotting the Valley with hues of red, orange and yellow that has most delighted me … and the sparkling early morning sun set against the hills while colorful hot air balloons swirl high in the valley before they lazily drift to the ground. How blessed are we to take in these sights which I do every time I drive into work on Highway 29 from St. Helena to Napa.
So enjoy that pumpkin spice latte, pick up a few pumpkins from the pumpkin patch, savor the fresh apples from the nearby markets … and let the beauty of this Valley envelop you as we tumble into Fall.