- Going apple picking in Montreal? Think again.
- Despite the Instagram photos, apple-picking is not all it's cracked up to be.
"The rumbling sound
Of load on load of apples coming in.
For I have had too much
Of apple-picking: I am overtired
Of the great harvest I myself desired."
– "After Apple-Picking" by Robert Frost
That out of context excerpt from Robert Frost's 1914 poem "After Apple-Picking" perfectly sums up how I feel about this popular fall activity. While Frost's poem has nothing to do with explaining why apple picking is the absolute worst, it does describe a speaker who is totally fed up with the apple season and wants to go for a "long winter sleep."
I'm sure many of us can appreciate the "long winter sleep" aspect of Frost's poem. However, many of you also have this fascination with apple picking that baffles my mind.
For you West Coasters, apple picking is what East Coasters do outdoors in the fall to convince themselves that winter isn't coming.
In a nutshell, you wake up at 6 a.m. on a Saturday morning and drive an hour out of town to a muddy farm filled with screaming children, under-caffeinated parents, and garden-variety Instagram couples. After waiting in line for a hay truck ride from hell, you're shepherded into an overcrowded field where most apples are stomped underfoot and the good ones are perched out of reach.
You can imagine the mortal combat that ensues for the handful of rickety ladders provided by the farmers, who are laughing their asses off that they can charge city-dwellers upwards of $50 a pop to pick apples from the worst trees on the farm.
Apple picking is the worst fall activity that you can possibly do. Here's why.
Full disclosure: I've only gone apple picking one time in my life. For me, that was plenty, but I can already hear the chorus of "who does this fuckin' author think he is?!?" in the comment section. Convince me I'm wrong, I dare you.
I'm sure my experience isn't a unique one, but I ended up going apple picking on one of those fall days with a frosty morning that leads into a sweltering afternoon. Holding a bucket of already rotting apples and a wool coat, I had had enough of apple picking rather quickly.
Oh sure, Instagram made it look idyllic AF and I had every expectation of a perfect fall day... then it started raining. But apparently, not enough for the farmers to bring us back to the main house. Then again, we paid them $45 bucks so we can provide free labour.
I harp on the labour point but check out how a lot of modern apple farms harvest their stock:
Feel stupid yet?
How do you feel about the constant smell of rotting fruit, peppered in with the occasional whiff of manure?
With hundreds of eager apple pickers pawing at fruits for a solid month, there's a ton of discarded apples that make a distinct squish when you step on them. And oh boy, does that smell linger after sitting in the sun for a few hours. As for the manure? You're on a farm, after all.
Speaking of two bags of apples, you damn-well better have a plan for what to do with all those apples.
You've committed to bringing at least 27-32 apples back home with you and unless you're really fond of the smell of rotting fruit, I recommend you have a plan.
Turns out, rotting fruit also attracts a host of fruit flies that, like an emotionally-manipulative fuckboy, will never leave. Scared off, yet?
Give yourself a round of applause!
Call me a curmudgeon, but it's not like I didn't warn you.
I totally get it — you feel like living out a pastoral ideal, enjoying the last vestiges of the great outdoors before winter's chill seeps into our bones.
But have you ever tried playing pétanques? It's fun and it gets you outside!
So please, don't go apple picking.
Do you have an apple picking horror story or want to share another overrated fall activity? Hit us up @MTLBlog across all social media!
The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.