Hey everyone! I'm writing this on my phone in the Blue Ridge Moubtains, out in Appalachia, pretty much in the middle of nowhere. It is amazing out here. I'm without wifi, so this will get posted whenever I get closer to the grid. But for now, it's just enjoying the nature and working on a crew harvesting apples for cider.
I'm down here visiting my friend Eliza who runs the orchard and knows everything there is to know about apples. What better way to learn even more bout apples than to be out in the orchards working with them, hands on, tasting and working up a sweat. So far, it's been lots of collecting of apples, often climbing way up in the tree to shake all the apples off. Then down under to collect them, separating the bad apples from the good, and after collecting a full bushel (47 pounds), adding them to a bin (holds around 20 bushels). Yesterday we set a new record with 126 bushels picked. Notice the connection between Justus showing up and a new record being set? It's tiring work and makes you realize the work that happens on a farm and makes you think more about what all happened with your food/drink before you get it.
This past weekend Eliza and I were at a farm in central Virginia, rather a holistic cattle herd farm. They have slowly give back to nature with no nature, moving the cows every day to keep the grass and soil fresh and letting cattle be cattle. They've done a lot which was said couldn't be done and have a herd of 289 happy cattle.
The herd farm was having a festival with lots of skill workshops, potluckin, live music and great vibes. Super fun to meet some new great people, many who are young farmers working on getting back to nature and making this world a better place. We planted trees, learned how to leach the tannins out of acorns to make them edible, found other edible trees which are native down here and did yoga outside on the grass with live bluegrass. Needless to say, it was an epic weekend.
This being my first time in the South, it's been awesome so far, with great people, fun accents, lots of trucks and a more rural experience than most would have. Learning about apples and how supermarkets rarely sell apples with blemishes is crazy. Ugly apples are just as good and full of flavor. Do yourself a favor and eat ugly apples!