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Monday, November 11, 2013

Harvest, Take 2: Apple Picking

The banner says Handong University Guest House Welcome (Western)
On the first Saturday of November, we went apple-picking with about 50 other expats to an orchard about an hour away. Someone had a connection to the Christian owner, who brings his truck to campus on Wednesdays to sell apples (3 for 1000 won - about a dollar). It's kind of a big deal here to identify your business with either Christian or Buddhist symbols, and we're happy to support (a) Christians and (b) wonder-mazing-tastic apples, which are similar in taste, texture, and juiciness to Jazz or Braeburns.  Mr. Apple man (I do not know his name) seemed happy to have us, perhaps in part because the kids were so excited and in part because he got government funding for educating foreigners, which paid for the cool welcome banner and our lunch.

The trees seem almost espaliered (thinking of you, Diane R);
small grafted trunks, few branches, huge harvest

The irrigation system nurtures every tree.

David, the casual apple picker.  

Each family brought their own carefully-picked apples to the barn then
learned that they would all be mixed together and sorted by weight
(the apples, that is, not the families).
Oh.  Right.  Communal culture.  

David helps load apples onto the sorting machine..

Mr. Apple Man shows the sorting bins - the little conveyor at the top
carries each apple and rolls it into the right slot by weight 

The kids have a great time predicting where each apple will fall.
(That's Elisabeth at the end.)
The Price Chart: different rates for different weights.
The Korean-looking woman here are, respectively from left to right,
Korean-Canadian, Korean-Californian, and Korean-Korean
(Boyeon is Nick's teaching assistant and good friend to ex-pats).

One of the men at the barn set up a grill (like an upside-down wok)
to fry fat strips of bacon for our lunch.  Several women cut up the bacon
with scissors (very common cooking implement) and made rice,
soup, fruit salad (with hard-boiled quail eggs & mayo),
and several items I could not identify.

After lunch, most of the kids headed to the stream to throw rocks and get wet and normal kid stuff; checked out the black goat (Sam enjoyed comparing his beard to the goat's) and the chickens.  It was wonderful to be out in the countryside on a gorgeous fall day in the mountains with the leaves turning color.

David and Elisabeth are not yet very wet.
Nick is way, way too close to this garden spider for my comfort.  I don't
even like looking at the picture.  Give me a snake or toad any day.

Shy goat.  Nice beard.

What a lovely day to pick apples; Sam even got the camera away
from me and snuck (sneaked? be-sneakered?) this one.

Sam and Nick are finally ready to head home. 

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