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September 30, 2013

A Canuck in Kantuck: Fun in the fall

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —

Each year, I fall more and more in love with Kentucky. This fall, I’ve already had three wonderful experiences that made me re-appreciate this place I call home.

 

HANEY’S APPLE ORCHARD

We love to go to this apple farm each fall with my stepdaughter Gabrielle, who is always excited to spend an hour or so under the wisened apple trees. If you’ve never been, it’s really worth a trip to Nancy.

When you walk inside, you’re greeted with the comforting smell of cinnamon and sugar, and in the front counter await some of the best fried apple pies in the county. Beyond the eatery, there is the big barn, which is packed with bushels of beautiful apples and interesting canned goods like green tomato pickles and pickled okra.

For the past few years, we’ve hit the apple farm in late September or early October, which we discovered this year is probably a little late in the season to go. In those years, most of the prized apples had already been pickled, so it resulted in us throwing the old, fallen apples up high into the trees to help dislodge the pretty ones that still resided there. This, of course, was a pretty fun way to spend an afternoon, but we came home with apples that were, admittedly, a little bruised.

This year, we went at the beginning of September and the trees were still so tightly packed with apples each branch looked like it was an inflated version of a bunch of grapes. We went this year with my father- and mother-in-law and I think they were a little confused over why we were so excited about our apple-picking excursion when it took a scant 10 minutes to fill up our bushel. But they seemed more pleased when we got fresh apple cider and sat at a picnic table under a shade tree. There, Gabrielle delighted in watching an inchworm walk across the table, while we discussed sweet gum trees, apple juice and the orchard that spread behind us.

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Now that school is out, what are your family’s summer vacation plans?

A. No major plans. We will probably hang out around Laurel County.
B. Going to the beach!
C. Kentucky has a lot of wonderful state parks, and we plan to visit a few and enjoy quality family time.
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