Tuesday, September 8, 2009

U Pick 'Em!

Within Capitol Reef National Park, lies a delightful oasis of fruit trees in a beautiful valley surrounded by towering sandstone. The community of Fruita was settled in the early 1880's by Mormon pioneers. They had been instructed by their leader, Brigham Young to plant gardens, orchards and vineyards.

Today the Fruita orchards contain approximately 2,600 fruit trees, the largest collection of such trees in a National Park. Visitors to the park are allowed to pick fruit in the orchards.

We were just in time for the apple and pear harvest. Sadly, all the peaches had been picked.

Have you ever seen such amazing scenery as a backdrop for a fruit orchard? I should mention that the orchards here are not managed for fruit production but rather, historical acuracy and tree longevity. Many of the trees growing today are the original trees planted by the settlers.

Poopsie, sampling the fruit.

Finally, it's time to weigh your bag of fruit ($1.00 a pound) and insert your cash into the slot.

Down the road from the orchard is what remains of the town of Fruita. Early pioneer life in this valley must have been a struggle. Can you imagine riding into town on this bouncy contraption?

Poopsie has made a new friend. The horse is frisking him for apples.

The Gifford Homestead was a working farm until 1946. Former residents of Fruita and their children and grandchildren, now live in neighboring communities. Many county residents still have historic ties with Fruita and feel a close association with the orchards. They still come here to harvest fruit and renew those connections to their cultural heritage.

All that fruit-picking has made me hungry. We're in luck because they sell pies, pastries, ice cream and local preserves in this cute little shop. I'll take one of each!

Mmmmm. Peach pie. What a lovely spot for a picnic. Beautiful scenery and pie. It doesn't get any better than this.

Love, Kelly

1 comment:

  1. Oooohhhh, Aaaaahhhhh! Especially for the peach crispy pie! The scenery is amazing! What an incredible day....I want to be a farmer!!!!