One of many jewels found in Warwick Valley is apples. The gem comes in assorted colors and varieties. And because 2019 is a bumper crop year, we can enjoy and invite others to enjoy apples. A local farmer recently told me, “Apple picking will go into November.”
While living in southeastern Washington state, my husband and I grew Granny Smith and Gala apples. Tart to sweet. Couldn’t be beat. Just ask the horses that lived with us on the orchard.
We brushed, saddled, and mounted our horses for afternoon walks that took us through the orchard and up into the Horse Heaven Hills. I know, it all sounds like I’m making this up, but I’m not.
If you have a minute, search online Wikipedia, Horse Heaven Hills. Skip the site linked to American Viticultural Area, unless you’re interested in todays booming wine grape business in the northwest.
But Horse Heaven Hills stretches through three counties in Washington (we lived in Benton county). The hill range is a ridge that folded upward a gazillion years ago (give or take a few years).
Notice on Wikipedia, the photo mentioning Wallula Gap? Those Horse Heaven Hills is the view from the cemetery where we buried my mother and father-in law. We also had an orchard in Wallula.
The history of Horse Heaven Hills has it that early pioneer, James Gordon Kinney was romping around the hills in 1881, and while admiring the native grass that fed large herds of feral horses, he said, “This is surely a horse heaven.”
But that version of history daggers me. Like Columbus Day.
Columbus Day commemorates the landing of Christopher Columbus in the Americas in 1492, however, up against the facts, conscience calls out the blindness associated with this holiday. Blind to the poor behavior toward humanity on the part of Columbus and the fact that native Americans were settled here long before the Italian-born explorer plodded the ground.
I’d like to know what the native Americans called the hills, that I call Horse Heaven Hills. For centuries, probably millenniums, before others came from afar, native Americans used the land as hunting ground and boundaries between tribes. Maybe they called the hills Pantry.
“Your shelf in the pantry is looking pretty good.”
“Ah, yes, but if need be, I’ll rustle up some of the food for your shelf.”
Either way, I understand why some cities and states in the United States replace Columbus Day with alternative days of remembrance, such as, Indigenous Peoples Day.
A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver. Proverbs 25:11.
So back to our valley rich in apples. Eat up. Tell your friends from the City, or wherever, to bring their families, buy a bag and pick apples for eating fresh or using in applesauce, crisps, cakes, pies. Heck, it’s worth the bucks to just enjoy visiting an orchard, walking outdoors through rows of trees, reaching out to nab and munch on a natural delicious snack. Right there on the spot. That’s what our horses did.