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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Not an Angry Orchard: Fireside Charms Carls

<ng with the changing of the leaves and the selling of hot cider comes another classic fall tradition: apple picking. This past weekend, shuttles delivered students to the Fireside Orchard and Gardens.

About five miles off of campus, the apple grove is a popular destination amongst students and Northfield families alike.

Despite the chilly weather, the orchard was buzzing with activity. After purchasing a bag, you can stroll through rows of low-hanging trees brimming with every apple variety imaginable.

The charming store contains jars of honey, caramel candies, and butters made from various fruits. The true star of the shop is the apple donut. Freshly made, sprinkled with sugar, and mouthwateringly tasty, these donuts are a trademark of the orchard.

Fireside Orchard and Gardens opened its crop to the public 43 years ago. Bob, an employee, states that college students don’t even comprise the bulk of their visitors, and that the independently owned orchard “gets a lot of families” and that “all ages” can enjoy the tradition of apple picking. And despite what one may believe, Bob asserts that he “hasn’t found anyone stealing any apples.” I guess that’s Minnesota nice for you.

Carleton freshman Carolyn Ryan reflects that “I liked spending time with my friends and wandering around choosing the best apples.” And although “it was colder than [she] expected,” the first-time apple picker still enjoyed the day. On the other end, apple-picking veteran Abby Polk, a Boston native, states that apple picking is “very popular in New England,” and that she was “surprised by how large the apple orchard was.” Similar to Carolyn, however, her best memories were “walking around the beautiful orchard, eating delicious apples, and spending time with friends.”

Carleton, holding true to its pledge to buy locally, utilizes the orchard on a daily basis. Katie McKenna, the general manager of Bon Appétit Management Company, states that “currently we are getting an assortment of Harrelson, Fireside, and Cortland’s.” Although the school year started off with Zestars, these apples have since been picked over. Next time you pick up an apple-infused desert or the fruit itself, think of Fireside Orchards.

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