By: Cheryl Fey, Life Enrichment Coordinator at Wesley Ridge Retirement Community
Before our trip to the Branstool Orchard, we stopped to get lunch At Watts Family Restaurant. As we sat around the table waiting on dessert, we discussed our most memorable moments at orchards. Below are a few of the residents’ responses!
One couple, Bill and Martha, have been going to orchards in the Utica area every year since 1972. First, they went to Legend Hills, then to a little roadside stand operated at the farm of Mr. Branstool. Later Mr. Branstool enlarged his orchard and opened a larger building that has been successful for many years.
Hope remembers her time at Muskingum College when, during her freshman year, she went to an apple orchard, sat down on the ground, and ended up sitting in poison ivy!! Something she has never forgotten.
Mary Lou went to the Hayes-McClay strawberry farms on Ebright Road to pick strawberries in the fields. She was a member of Sweet Adelines, and the group would go to the Hayes home for homemade strawberry shortcake made specially from her hand-picked strawberries.
Mary Jo and Jim, who lived near Richfield, Ohio, used to go to Babb’s Orchard for apples and peaches. As a child, Mary would peel the peaches in extra thick slices, so she could have lots of peach to eat with the peels! As an adult, she would go to a family farm to get apples, plums and sour cherries to make pies and cobblers and for canning
One resident remembers going with her mom to an orchard with apples and peaches. She would climb a ladder to pick the fruit – lots of fun.
The Heits take their grandkids every year to pick fruit. One year the kids were each given their own bags to fill and when they went to check out, there was 85# of fruit! Even though they really didn’t want to buy that much, they had to because the fruit was already picked! No one had a credit card, so everyone was digging through their purses and wallets to come up with enough cash to settle the bill. Obviously, they never did that again!
It is always a joy for me to hear about the residents’ experiences. From cooking and family to poison ivy and bags over flowing with fruit, their stories never disappoint!