Is there anything better to do with your family than picking apples and choosing a pumpkin on a nice fall day?
After last Saturday, I can't think of any.
This past weekend we made the short trip to Appleberry Farm on the western outskirts of Marshalltown on Main Street. I've been there before, but this time it just really hit home how neat that place really is. Having our 3-year-old girl on my shoulders as we navigated through the limbs in search of that perfect red apple through the sea of trees is what I call living.
Having long arms that can get into narrow parts of the trees made me feel like I was getting to places the average apple picker couldn't. I was the Lewis and Clark of apple pickers in my own mind, blazing new ground.
Judging by the photos we took, I don't think a smile ever left our little one's face the entire time we were there, aside from when she tripped over some apples on the ground. Hopefully by next year she'll be old enough to look where she walks a little better.
I also saw several other kids thoroughly enjoying themselves at the farm, in what has to be one of the most family-friendly places around.
It's also the coolest thing to take a bite out of an apple knowing you are the only person that handled it off the tree. It must make it taste better.
Or, the fact you want to believe that you were the one that selected the best-tasting apple in the world. That makes it taste better too.
Aside from the apples, they also had a nice selection of pumpkins for sale, both in the patch and on display, and some crafty kind of stuff that was more up my wife's alley. They also had plenty of stuffed things to look at, if you are into scarecrows and such.
So you are not a scarecrow person and you are more into gourds? They had plenty of them on sale too for the low, low price of 60 cents each and some were in very peculiar shapes.
I don't know the staff at Appleberry Farm personally, but I do know they were friendly and welcoming. It's also reassuring for me to know that a cheapskate like me can have a nice family outing, go home with six carefully-selected apples and one nice-sized pumpkin, and our total cost of the day was $4.25.
Even I can hack that.
We have a real jewel here in Marshalltown in Appleberry Farm and I'm just starting to realize this fact. Life on the farm is pretty darn good.
Reporter Andrew Potter is a Tuesday columnist for the Times-Republican. The views expressed in this column are personal views of the writer and don't necessarily reflect the views of the T-R. Contact Andrew Potter at 641-753-6611 or firstname.lastname@example.org