Fruit Picking on the Farm

As I stated in my last post, I escaped the DNC to visit my in-laws on the NC coast.  Exactly 2.2 miles from their house (I’ve clocked it on my Garmin) is the farm — a property owned once by Brad’s maternal grandparents and now owned by his parents.

Brad’s grandparents never lived there, but now his parents rent out the small house on the property to a couple about Brad and my age.  I love going out to this property because it has a lovely view of the water and also because it has a lot of fruit bushes and treas.

We headed out there yesterday to see if the scuppernog grapes were ready for harvesting.

Bailey, the lab, and Jackson, the bulldog who belongs to the couple that rents the house greeted us.  Not Bailey’s best side.

They’re incredibly friendly dogs and are so jealous if you pet one and not the other.

Jackson is incredibly sweet.  A lot of people are terrified of bulldogs, but I think it’s a testament to his character that there are 10 chickens running around completely unharmed.

There are some Yorkies that can’t be trusted around a free roaming chicken.

And then there’s Penelope the goat.  Penelope used to have a cage mate, Billy.  I liked Billy, but when he was around, Penelope would never let us pet her.  I think he was a bit overbearing.

But I shouldn’t speak ill of the dead.  Billy died of kidney failure a few weeks ago.  And Penelope has really came out of her shell ever since.  My MIL, Joy, says she’s sweet on Jackson and follows him around when out of her cage, as if she’s a dog too.

She’s so loving now and lets me scratch her head between her horns.

In reality, her name is Lily, but Joy named her Penelope before we knew her real name and I can’t bear to call her anything else.  I think she needs a new cage mate named Petunia.

Picking grapes were a bit tough.  There are rose bushes that have worked their way underneath the vines so there are thorns.

Rascal had a big ol’ time running around and playing with the other dogs.  The litter booger even chased a chicken for the sheer joy of scaring the poor thing.  He took off, tearing across the yard, heading directly toward the chicken.  She turned around and ran and as soon as he got near her.  He stopped and turned around, satisfied with his efforts.

He continues to live up to his name on a daily basis.

I’m pretty sure the chickens are hiding their eggs under the grape vines because several of them were roosting under there.  I’ve heard stories of chickens laying an egg outside the coop in a hidden place so they can hatch a chick, but I’ve never witnessed it.

We checked another grape vine but it was less ripe than the first.  We also checked the pear trees and the apple trees for low hanging fruit.

Our harvest wasn’t great, but we did get a large bowl of scuppernog grapes.  The golden ones are sweet, but the purple ones are very sweet.  They have a seed in the middle and it is very difficult to chew the skin, so I usually spit it out.  Lady like, I know.

See how close the farm is to the sound?  It’s just across the street.

I love coming here.  It makes me wish we had fruit trees, vines, and bushes in our back yard.  There’s just something so satisfying about raising or picking your own food.

After eating apples like this, you’ll notice that grocery store apples (especially the non-organic kind) tastes waxy and less flavorful.  It’s the price we pay for the mass production of  fruit out of season, shipped in from other areas of the country hundreds of miles away.

Growing our own food is such a novelty to us now, but it’s how many of our grandparents grew up.  It doesn’t always looks as perfect at what you might purchase at the grocery store, but it makes me feel good knowing where my food comes from.

It’s a simple pleasure.