I’ve just come back from a quick but intense video shoot in Vermont. My friend and I are putting together a short project for a non-profit organization called Red Tomato. They help farmers find better distribution outlets and encourage them to use more beneficial ecological growing methods. We spent a wonderful day at Sunrise Orchards, with a great family of apple growers. They work unbelievably hard, with boundless love and enthusiasm for what they produce and for the land.
I was stressed out and nervous to be leaving my mom, my daughter, my old ailing dog and my two gimpy horses while my husband was also out of town. Luckily, my sister-in-law stayed here to help me out. The horses were on their best behavior. She loved taking care of them. So, even though I got home after midnight yesterday, everything was calm and happy here.
Being in the apple orchards was really soothing. There was a sense of the majesty of the horizon, with the mountains in the distance and the incredibly vivid fall colors of the trees. It gave me that same kind of combination grounding and freedom that I feel when I’m out west in New Mexico or the desert.
I ate an insane number of apples - at least a dozen, with a wide and exotic range of flavors. The Hodges, who have three generations of family living on the farm, all said that they never get tired of eating apples. I can understand because I was delighted to come home with a big bag of many varieties and exerted a lot of will power to only eat three Honey Crisps today.
It was interesting to learn that the Red Delicious is the most popular apple in this country. It’s probably the only one that I didn’t like. I think that even the best Red Delicious tastes kind of like a potato, and it’s really sad that most children in the United States associate that flavor as “apple”. I see it as a metaphor for what has become misguidedly important - and what’s wrong- with so many other things in America - It’s valued for its beauty, rejected if it’s blemished, thick skinned and lacking flavor. Still, it’s the one that is held up as the favorite.
I didn’t take many still photos because I was so busy shooting apples on videotape. Luckily, I managed to snap one of my new best friend, a great Golden Retriever named Junior - who is one apple lovin’ dog.