Nourishing Flourishing

A Day at Ya-Ya Orchard

23 Oct

The recipe should be up tomorrow or Tuesday, but seriously, I just cannot get the photos to look right. I think it’s the changed lighting on our porch, but regardless, my photo mojo is off. Rest assured, I have the post written — I just need to make another batch tonight and demand the items to look good tomorrow morning. ; ) In the meantime, sticking to my one-post-a-week goal, and because I had such an great time, I wanted to share a little field trip (uh, literally) to Ya-Ya Orchard in Longmont, Colorado. We are always on the lookout for local farms to support, and this one seemed just right. We were delighted to find out that there were a fair amount of adorable, sweet animals to meet!

These donkeys were such a cute, playful pair.

Luckily, they sell small pails of carrots that you can offer to the equines (there was quite a variety). I could have just kept offering carrots and nuzzling these two all day! They were so much fun.

This was a bit of a slobbery encounter, but that’s nature! Sometimes it’s a tad messy. All the animals — even the huge horses that dwarfed me — were gentle and kind. According to one of Ya-Ya’s workers, the trick to feeding a horse/donkey/etc. is to open your hand flat, with the carrot in the middle. Their teeth are a decent amount farther back from their big lips, and they’ll just roll the carrot into their mouths. No need to be afraid, I learned! : )

It was so nice to see how well cared-for these animals were.
Everyone at the orchard was wonderfully friendly and helpful, to us and the critters.

Hayrides for all!

(Except… us. Because we’re cheap and in grad school. So we walked the orchard. And it was beautiful.)

We may be cheap, but not cheap enough to pass up on some fresh cider. I grabbed a bottle to toast the season.

Oh, do you see that in the background? Here’s a closer view:

Needless to say, we didn’t lack for things to do, even after we moved on to give the children a chance to say hi to the animals…

Fall, you win.

My husband enjoyed a fresh apple cider donut, and tried to describe  – in painstaking detail, between exclamations of how good it was — what it tasted like, since I’ve never had one, glutenous or not!

(And yes, I am working on a GF version now! ; )

While you obviously don’t have to be married to form traditions, that has been one of our favorite elements of sharing life together; in particular, it’s been such fun to find traditions that are purposeful, and engage with our values. As we keep tuning in to more ways to be connected to our community — including people, land, food, economy, and so on — this memory has convinced us to relive our orchard experience each autumn. It very much reflects our appreciation for local and sustainable agriculture. And fun. And all things apple.

; )

Thanks Ya-Ya Orchard!

What seasonal traditions do you have?

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22 Responses to “A Day at Ya-Ya Orchard”

  1. Emily October 23, 2011 at 7:31 pm #

    Beautiful pictures!! I’m a new reader to your blog (hi!) but love all the GF recipes!! Looking forward to reading more :)

  2. Gini Keller October 23, 2011 at 7:42 pm #

    Katie, I’m so glad you got out to an orchard–and one that looks up to Meeker! I just put one of my flowerbeds to bed…pulled the annuals, spaded, and checked for worms. Next, I’ll sadly pull up the tomato vines.

    • Katie @ Nourishing Flourishing October 25, 2011 at 10:13 pm #

      I know, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I realized how perfect a view we had. They actually didn’t have any of their apples to sell, due to an early frost and lots of immature trees, but they were selling western slope apples! I had to laugh at that. Ah, fresh garden tomatoes… they are sorely missed!

  3. Matt @ The Athlete's Plate October 23, 2011 at 7:47 pm #

    I miss your posts!

  4. Caitlyn October 23, 2011 at 8:08 pm #

    I second what Matt said!

    That looks like a wonderful field trip! And the scenery is absolutely beautiful. I remember being in awe of the mountains when I visited Denver this past March. Glad you found time between studying to have some fun outside :-)

    • Katie @ Nourishing Flourishing October 25, 2011 at 10:14 pm #

      Thanks Caitlyn, that’s so sweet! And yes, it was the perfect day for an outing like that. If you come back this way, let me know! :)

  5. Abby @ Abz 'n' Oats October 23, 2011 at 8:56 pm #

    What a wonderful trip! :) That mountain view makes me just crave another trip to Colorado.

  6. Erin @ Big Girl Feats October 24, 2011 at 8:40 am #

    You two are so super cute. Dude and I have been so.freaking.busy the last month that we’ve been missing out on fall and I’m sad! Luckily this weekend we’re going camping so I can’t wait! Every fall a big group of us go camping in Maine or New Hampshire and it will be so nice to take a whole weekend off from studying (except for the fact that I have a giant paper due Monday but whatever!).

    I miss youuuuuu!

    • Katie @ Nourishing Flourishing October 25, 2011 at 10:22 pm #

      Oh my gosh, I miss you. Like, lots. So I have been writing you emails in my head, instead of real ones, because I’m pretty bad at that right now. But you will probably be glad that I’m not sending them because they usually go like this: “ZOMG grad school is hard I have no time blah blah blah I MISS YOU blah blah blah.” So. Yeah. That pretty much sums it up, amiright? I’m so glad to hear you are going camping — savor it, girl. Savooor. Go free, baby. Papers schmapers — get yo’ camp on! XOXOXOXOX

  7. Maryann October 24, 2011 at 11:05 am #

    Nice photos. I love apples but I sure miss my summer fruit. Having company this weekend and serving apple cider. Christmas sometimes I have hot cider with spices. Look forward to your next post. Hope school is well.

    • Katie @ Nourishing Flourishing October 25, 2011 at 10:23 pm #

      Thanks Maryann! I miss that summer fruit, too; I feel like I just didn’t get enough watermelon this year! :) Mm, I would love to be visiting you — apple cider is my all-time favorite. Hope you are well, and have fun with your company!

  8. Gretchen October 24, 2011 at 8:11 pm #

    That’s my favorite kind of day and also one of our Fall family traditions. Here is the link to the post I wrote about my family’s trip to the apple orchard last month…we went on my daughter’s 6th birthday.

    • Katie @ Nourishing Flourishing October 25, 2011 at 10:28 pm #

      How lovely, Gretchen! Thanks so much for sharing your family’s special trip; it looks absolutely delightful. I was hoping we’d get to press cider, etc., too, but sadly they had a rough year (early frost, etc.), so they were selling some other orchard’s Colorado apples. Thus, the apple activities (like pressing cider) were a little bit more limited than usual. I’m sure your daughter will cherish that birthday in her memory for a long time. I love it!

  9. Pure2raw twins October 25, 2011 at 5:14 am #

    what a lovely time at the orchard and feeding all the animals. we grew up with horses so we learned how to feed them a carrot real early ;) at first I was scared but overtime the more you do it the less scary it got for me haha

    • Katie @ Nourishing Flourishing October 25, 2011 at 10:30 pm #

      That’s awesome! For some reason, I was never too afraid of petting horses, even on their heads, but the feeding part made me a little nervous. I can see how it gets less scary! They’re so cute when they take just roll that carrot into their mouth. :)

  10. Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) October 25, 2011 at 9:30 am #

    Oh wow, this sounds like an amazing day! We went to the pumpkin patch this past weekend and carved pumpkins. It was such an amazing weekend and we look forward to it every year. The donut sounds amazing. Tony and I always smell each other’s food or drinks if the other can’t have them. I carry his pumpkin spice lattes just so I can smell them.

    • Katie @ Nourishing Flourishing October 25, 2011 at 10:31 pm #

      That sounds like such fun! Ha, my husband likes to hold my coffee just to smell it (even half a cup gives him a headache). I hear ya on that! :)

  11. December 7, 2011 at 4:18 pm #

    Great pictures! Makes me wanna take children on adventure :)

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