Why We Made Apple Picking a Family Tradition

Apple picking with a dog

We live in a great area in the northeast U.S. that allows us to take advantage of different harvests. Berries, fruit, squash, vegetables, there’s always something available at one of the local farms to pick. One of our favorites is apples.

Before Lyra was born, when we were still living in Connecticut, we went apple picking for the first time. We found it easy, enjoyable, and an affordable activity. We went with my in-laws and took home enough apples that I didn’t know what to do with them all. I ended up canning some and freezing the rest. Fortunately, I was pregnant at the time and apples tasted great to me!

apple picking in Connecticut

Apple Picking With a Toddler

After Lyra was born, spending time outside was even more important. Little kids tend to get bored if they spend too much time inside. So of course we jumped at the opportunity to take her apple picking.

When she was a year and a half old, we went to a family friend’s house. There, he had a half dozen apple and pear trees, sagging with ripe fruit and begging to be picked. Lyra sat happily in the grass while we filled our baskets. She nibbled contentedly on the apple we handed her. Meanwhile, the two resident dogs paid her plenty of attention while also running off with apples they found on the ground.

I made lots of applesauce that year.

A Missed Year

The next year sadly the apple season was a bust. A mix of flooding and cold weather led to poor harvests all over our region. We had to miss apple picking.

Back to Apple Picking With Two Kids

This year the apples were plentiful again and we found ourselves back at our friend’s house. Along with an enthusiastic Lyra, we also brought along baby Callum. The two dogs were equally smitten with Callum as they were with little Lyra two years prior. They kissed him while he sat in the grass sucking on an apple.

Lyra helped her grandparents collect baskets of apples and pears. Then she threw the ball for the dogs and played keep-away as they chased her around the yard.

I made applesauce and apple pie filling this year.

We’re There for the Memories, Not the Apples

There’s nothing especially meaningful about picking apples. But we’re creating memories. We’re building a happy family foundation for Lyra and Callum to grow on. How many apples we pick doesn’t really matter, but the number of laughs and doggy hugs does. It matters that we’re together as a family, lifting the little kids into the trees to help us get those out-of-reach apples. It matters that these are the memories that our children will recall some day with a smile.

Apple picking with a dog

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