I grew up in a neighborhood that was filled with apple trees and it was pretty much a free for all except for that one crabby old man's house that we all knew not to pick from. I remember how if we were playing and got hungry we could simply go find an apple tree, pick a couple and go right back to playing until dinner. I loved climbing the trees or reaching as high as I could with an apple picker to get those apples. Sometimes they were just out of my reach and the older kids would climb all the way up to the top to pick the cherished sun-kissed apples. Almost always I would find a bruise or worm hole but I didn't think twice, I would simply rub it off on my shirt and eat around it.
My favorite time of year is still in the fall when it's apple picking season. However, it's a little different now. Every year on our tractor ride out to the orchard we listen to the driver explain how we can NOT eat the apples we pick until they have been washed thoroughly because of all the chemicals.
In the past I always thought if I washed my fruits and vegetables really good, I was washing off the chemicals. What I didn't realize is that it goes much deeper. Some of the chemicals are applied during irrigation directly to the roots, some of the pesticides penetrate through the peel and a large number of pesticides have been specifically formulated to repel water...so much for washing.
Unfortunately, I don't have organic apple orchards in my area but there are some new fruit and vegetable farms that have started organic farming near me. Here is a great website that will show you a variety of "pick-your-own farms" and they will indicate if they are organic or what kind of farming practices they use.
SLOW COOKER ORGANIC APPLESAUCE- CLEAN EATING
Makes approximately 3 cups
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ginger
pinch of cloves
1 vanilla bean or 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup water- plus more if needed during cooking
I love my apple peeler...
If you like chunky applesauce, leave as it but if you like it smooth you can blend it with an immersion blender or in small batches in a blender when it is cooled.
Tubing...little guy gets to go down with dad...
Taking the fast hill.....