Sunday, February 27, 2011

BelleWood Acres

Apples, Apple Cider, Apple Pie, Apple Syrup.... why didn't I go to this place when we celebrated Ross' 25th birthday Applefest style?

 This is Ross on his 25th Birthday - we played Apples to Apples while eating applesauce, apple fritter, apple chicken sausage pasta, and dipping apples in caramel. 

Anyway, to the Apple Orchard! 

BelleWood Acres is located on the Guide halfway between Bellingham and Lynden.

Here's a description from their website: "The first trees at BelleWood Acres were planted in the spring of 1996. The designing and planting were very much a family effort. We, John and Dorie Belisle, with family help, designed and planted the orchard.  Our goal is to grow the best apples in Whatcom County. We invite you to come out and see the farm. You will learn how we grow our fruit, pack it, store it and juice it! We also have pears, pumpkins, decorative gourds and corns, and much more. Fall is bountiful at BelleWood Acres."

Umm.... John is pretty much hilarious to listen to. But I can't repeat anything he said here... it would make you blush. 

It was after 6p.m. when we ventured out into the orchard - and of course it is winter so there isn't much to see. You'll probably notice that the trees look a bit strange and twisted. Well, they are pruned and twisted like this to keep the nutrients concentrated to lower branches, and they keep only the thicker branches. After all, a tree that is growing branches isn't growing apples, right?

Something that absolutely fascinates me about apples is that they are all grafted, or cloned. Apples reproduce sexually, meaning that offspring is a mixture of genes and the apple is completely different from the parent apples. Sometimes that's great and you find a sweet juicy variety, sometimes it means you get a small green turd. The red delicious, for instance, can be bought worldwide, yet all came from one tree.

If you want to learn more about the fascinating history of apples I would recommend reading The Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan, or watching the PBS film based on the book, or check out this website. It's a fascinating story, and tells the tale of Johnny Appleseed you may not be familiar with.

This is me and John in their industrial kitchen where they bake pies (I totally want to be the person that bakes pies!), dehydrate apple rings, and press their apple cider.

From September 1st until December 31st the farm is open; you can walk through the orchards, buy an apple pie, and celebrate the harvest. 

Some of their delicious offerings that you can buy at the Coop or Haggen

Ross and I have bought their apple cider before and absolutely loved it. Oh, and their honey roasted peanut butter is to die for. The samples and hot apple cider ended the field trip on a warm and satisfying note. 

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