Monday, October 17, 2005


It is apple pickin' season and all the city folk are heading to the farms. Growing up surrounded by orchards on all 4 sides, I cannot help but find this amusing. Having trees full of fruit is something I always took for granted as a kid.

Each summer we were mesmerized by the bee man as he dropped the bee houses, but for some reason had a healthy respect for those buzzin boxes. We would spend hours plucking (shhhh...don't tell) the pink and white blossoms off the trees for our mud pies and other crafty creations. Throughout the summer my mother and I would run for the clothesline in a frenzy when we heard the spray truck start up. It meant extra loads of wash if the pesticide mist hit clothes :( And then the fruit! My sister and I literally made one fresh pie per night the year we learned to bake them in 4-H.

Now farms are something I do not understand. They have suddenly become a form of entertainment now known as Agritainment.

The first farm was purchased by a college grad with tons of ideas.
Murphy Orchards is located a few miles from my parents' house. It makes lots of fresh jams, jellies, and juices. Little old ladies can come and enjoy a civilized tea in the renovated room in the old farm house. Little kids and scout troops can see the hole in the barn that was part of the Underground Railroad. These are all worthwhile activities.

Next, we have Becker Farms. This is an old family farm that is simply responding to the times. It learned that it was simply more profitable to allow pre-school groups and families from the Buffalo suburbs that a day in the country was all about U-Pick apples, hayrides, and pasturized cider. Each weekend during the fall it is packed with families in SUVs and half bushels of apples. I think it is nearly impossible to find a family in the area that does not have great memories associated with this farm.

Now we move on to the real money maker. The Maize. For just $5.00 a head you can run wild through a field. Send away for a cool computerized planting schemata and look what you can do! Allow the little critters to smash the plants and have some wicked corn cob fights. Not to mention the great hidden corners for all the teens on the flashlight tours. C'mon, we know the maze police cannot see everything! It is also a great place for parents to dump their kids for an afternoon if no one is looking.

I know I sound bitter or something, but that really is not the point. It is just an old country girl amused by the changing times. Something like going on a whale watch and expecting Sea World. Know what I mean?

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