I am thankful for apples–fresh, crisp local apples. If you’ve ever had a basket of Pennsylvania or New York apples straight from the orchard, you will understand why I am thankful for them. They smell wonderful, and when you bite into one sound and sense collide as the juices explode in your mouth and sometimes even trickle down your chin. The flesh is firm and bright; the taste runs the gamut from tart to sweet depending on the variety and the particulars of the harvest and locale.

There is simply no comparison to the waxy red or yellow delicious fruit passed off as the standard in grocery outlets across the nation. They pale in comparison to the farm-fresh fruit I to which I now have access. Truthfully, I never really understood what all the fuss was about until I sank my teeth into a local Jonagold or tasted a pie baked with fresh Cortlands.

Making regular stops at local farmers markets and fruit stands to purchase bags of apples and fresh pressed cider is a highlight of any day. One of my best memories is of a stop last fall at a local farm market when my husband and I were dating. We had a great time picking through the bins of apples, filling a big bag with assorted varieties, and sharing a delicious Honeycrisp in the car. The memory is better than any “Kodak moment.”

Even better than the fresh, delicious taste of a locally grown apple is the value of knowing the people who produce the fruit you consume. You see the care and effort that goes into growing and marketing food, and you learn about the joys and difficulties local family-owned and run businesses face.You come to value the fruit more because of the relationships. It will shed entirely new light on topics like immigration, government regulation, and even weather patterns. You pray for those who grow and harvest your food, and you give heartfelt thanks before you eat it.

An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but a local apple every day will do so much more. Here’s a big thank you to the people who work hard and assume great risk and responsibility to feed our nation so well. You are appreciated!

(Photos by apium used under Creative Commons License. Thanks!)

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