One thing we’ve missed about living in Oregon is gleaning from local fruit trees and visiting you-pick farms, collecting large amounts of fruit which we would preserve in different ways. We are just now discovering options for gleaning and orchard picking in Asheville, and one day we went out to a farm outside of Weaverville to get some apples. It was a beautiful farm, with quite a few old trees covered with red apples.
We filled a harvest basket, pulling in about twenty pounds. We used to collect hundreds of pounds of apples in Oregon, but we are not yet set up for canning or dehydrating, so twenty would do for pies, fruit soup, and unlimited apples for the next week or two. The apples, being totally organic, were not picture perfect, but they were mostly worm free and very sweet.
The family running the farm was very nice, and they were in the process of building a beautiful home with an awesome natural swimming pool in the backyard. It was inspirational to see, and I yearn for a world in which more of us can live with a closer connection to the land, rooted in a community.