A day at ya ya orchard

The recipe should be up tomorrow or Tuesday, but seriously, I just cannot get the photos to look right. I think it’s the changed lighting on our porch, but regardless, my photo mojo is off. Rest assured, I have the post written — I just need to make another batch tonight and demand the items to look good tomorrow morning. ; ) In the meantime, sticking to my one-post-a-week goal, and because I had such an great time, I wanted to share a little field trip (uh, literally) to Ya-Ya Orchard in Longmont, Colorado. We are always on the lookout for local farms to support, and this one seemed just right. We were delighted to find out that there were a fair amount of adorable, sweet animals to meet!

These donkeys were such a cute, playful pair.

Luckily, they sell small pails of carrots that you can offer to the equines (there was quite a variety). I could have just kept offering carrots and nuzzling these two all day! They were so much fun.

This was a bit of a slobbery encounter, but that’s nature! Sometimes it’s a tad messy. All the animals — even the huge horses that dwarfed me — were gentle and kind. According to one of Ya-Ya’s workers, the trick to feeding a horse/donkey/etc. is to open your hand flat, with the carrot in the middle. Their teeth are a decent amount farther back from their big lips, and they’ll just roll the carrot into their mouths. No need to be afraid, I learned! : )

It was so nice to see how well cared-for these animals were.
Everyone at the orchard was wonderfully friendly and helpful, to us and the critters.

Hayrides for all!

(Except… us. Because we’re cheap and in grad school. So we walked the orchard. And it was beautiful.)

We may be cheap, but not cheap enough to pass up on some fresh cider. I grabbed a bottle to toast the season.

Oh, do you see that in the background? Here’s a closer view:

Needless to say, we didn’t lack for things to do, even after we moved on to give the children a chance to say hi to the animals…

Fall, you win.

My husband enjoyed a fresh apple cider donut, and tried to describe  – in painstaking detail, between exclamations of how good it was — what it tasted like, since I’ve never had one, glutenous or not!

(And yes, I am working on a GF version now! ; )

While you obviously don’t have to be married to form traditions, that has been one of our favorite elements of sharing life together; in particular, it’s been such fun to find traditions that are purposeful, and engage with our values. As we keep tuning in to more ways to be connected to our community — including people, land, food, economy, and so on — this memory has convinced us to relive our orchard experience each autumn. It very much reflects our appreciation for local and sustainable agriculture. And fun. And all things apple.

; )

Thanks Ya-Ya Orchard!

What seasonal traditions do you have?