Pickin-And-A-Grinnin At The Sonlight Apple Orchard

Real Estate Sales Representative with Keller Williams Realty--Boerne Hill Country

Ahhhhhhhhhh yes...it's that time of year where the weather gets a little cooler and signs of harvesting are everywhere...especially with apple orchards.  You hafta look long and hard to find pick-your-own apple orchards in Texas in that our soil isn't prime for growing apple trees.  Even so...there are a few orchards that found the sweet spot for growing apple trees and are growing some fine apples.  One such orchard is the Sonlight Apple Orchard in Mason, TX...just about an hour and a half north of Boerne, TX and about an hour due west of Austin, TX.  Makes for a nice family day trip.

So...a couple weeks ago we loaded up our two older girls, my sister, Melody and our dog, Bell and headed up to pick some apples.  The trip there was nice...gorgeous country side including a drive-through of the infamous German town of Fredericksburg, TX.  Charissa, my oldest, quickly locked in a promise to stop on the way back for some fudge.  I'm sure Larry wasn't thrilled about stopping in a touristy town...but complied with her/our wishes.

We got to Sonlight Apple Orchardand were greeted with a collection of antique tractors and a turn-of-the-century stone barn which served as their headquarters for getting the lay of the land and getting buckets.   I thought that once we got our buckets and knew which trees held the apples we wanted that we could start picking.  I quickly learned that "Johnny Apple Smith" would be there shortly to show us the "art" of picking apples.  Wow...didn't know it was an art....but okay...I'd go along. 

"Johnny Apple Smith" a.k.a. Don Durflinger came from the back of the orchard with the kindest smile and donned in a Sonlight Orchard embroidered shirt and knee pads over his jeans.  He introduced himself as Johnny Apple Smith and asked if we knew anything about apple picking.  My sister, who was from Iowa, was able to say that she had been-there-done-that...but the rest of us...this was our virgin-apple-pickin-experience.  So...Johnny led us to a tree and showed us the correct way to pick an apple.  Little did I know that if you just yank it off the tree you could hinder growth for the following year.  No wonder it was required that everyone go through the drill. 

Once we got past the lesson it was on to picking apples...Cameo variety, to be exact.  I had never heard of that variety...but have to tell you...one of the best eatin apples I have tasted in a long time.  Oh my was it sweet and crisp!  We were also told it was great for pies and applesauce.  I can tell you for a fact that it was great for all three purposes.  As soon as we returned home, I made two pies and put up 14 jars of applesauce.  No sugar needed for some of the best applesauce I have had in a long time.

I could go on about our experience there...but it might be better for you to experience it yourself.  It's a short distance for anyone living in the Hill Country and worth the drive.  You will enjoy meeting Don and his wife Sheila and will love walking around the quaint town of Mason.  Don and Sheila are happy to keep your apples in their cooler while you tour the town or eat lunch at one of many fine restaurants close by. 

Treat yourself to a family day or date and take a drive to Sonlight Apple Orchard.  You'll be glad you did!

Pickin and canning apples is just one of the many aspects of living the "rural lifestyle".  If you've been thinking of making the move to a small town outside of San Antonio or finding your place in the country...give me a call.  I would love to help you!

Comments (9)

Susan Brown
Keller Williams NE, Kingwood Texas (Humble & Atascocita too) - Kingwood, TX

Claire, What a wonderful apple orchard you found.  We'll have to check it out next time we're out that way. 

Oct 04, 2010 09:14 AM
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Claire:  What a wonderful story.  One of the best I have read about something like this.  Sounds like an absolutely great "day trip" for the younger crowd... by which I mean those with enough "energy" to do it.  The only thing I would have asked would have been to "title" each picture so that when scrolling the mouse over it... we could see a description of who or what was in the picture.

Thanks so much.  By the way... I have pressed the "suggest" button for this post.  I think it is an excellent example of a Localism, or "Hyper-Local" post.  Great job !  Also... you forgot to tell us.  How was the fudge ?  I hate to say it, but that really got my attention.

Oct 04, 2010 09:24 AM
Claire Record
Keller Williams Realty--Boerne Hill Country - Boerne, TX

Thanks, Susan...  You'd love it and the town too.  Lots of antique stores and thrift stores to poke around in.  I found some great "junk" in one of the thrift stores.  :)

Oct 04, 2010 09:25 AM
Claire Record
Keller Williams Realty--Boerne Hill Country - Boerne, TX

Thanks, Karen!  Btw...how do you put titles on the pics by "scrolling over them"?  Would love to know.  As for the fudge...absolutely amazing!  We got six different flavors and loved each one of them.  Can't remember the name of the store...but you would know it if you went there.  It's one of those stores with home canned goods throughout the store.  I LOVE fudge...so I wasn't complaining when she asked if we could stop.  :)

Oct 04, 2010 09:30 AM
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

I also might suggest, and this is something I just learned about... after three years here... go figure... is to put as one of your "tags"... the words"day trip" or "day trips" if you write about a lot of them.  Then, when someone reads about ONE of your day trips, like this one, all they have to do is click on the words "day trips" in the tags, and ALL of the day trips you have written about will pop up.

I just learned about this.  As you know, I write lots of tutorials.  But... I have never thought of putting the word "tutorials" in with the tags beneath the post.  I have started going back through all my posts, and adding this to all my tutorials.  That way, if someone reads ONE of them, and finds it useful, they can click on the tag "tutorials"... and a list of ALL of them will pop up.  What a thing to finally learn... after being here for three years and two months.  I guess some things just take time... <smile>

If you already knew about this... cool.  But perhaps it will help someone else who reads this.  Take care... have a great week, and thanks for the trip.

Oct 04, 2010 09:33 AM
Claire Record
Keller Williams Realty--Boerne Hill Country - Boerne, TX

I just figured it out as I was waiting on your response.  Oh my gosh...how fun!  Thanks for giving me the heads up.  Now I have the job of going back and updating my other blogs.  woohoo!  I love new info!

Oct 04, 2010 09:38 AM
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Claire:  I was reading other stuff while you were waiting for me.  So sorry.  But, I just noticed this in my email, and came right back.  So glad you figured it out.

By the way... you DO know that it is a rule... a very obscure Active Rain rule, that anyone who comments three times in the same post... MUST be sent a box of fudge by the writer of the post.  I am betting you did not know that.  <hungry-looking smile>

And... I just looked again at the pictures, and saw the scroll-over titles.  It makes it so much more interesting, and great to relate to the spirit of the post.  Thanks a bunch.

Oct 04, 2010 10:16 AM
Barb Overmann
Keller Williams Realty - Lugoff, SC

That is exactly what I plan on doing one of these weekends in October!  I am from Michigan, where there was an apple orchard on every corner!  Now I will be driving the family several hours to get to the mountains.  It will be worth it though!

Oct 07, 2010 04:10 PM
Wayne Johnson
Coldwell Banker D'Ann Harper REALTORS® - San Antonio, TX
San Antonio REALTOR, San Antonio Homes For Sale


That post brings back some great memories. When our kids were young we lived in Missouri. About ah hour drive from us was a great apple orchard in Illinois. The first year we went we picked about 50 pounds of apples. Just got caught up in the moment. What family of four needs 50 pounds of apples at one setting.

But it was good fun getting into nature, and the pies made from those apples were some of the best I've ever eaten. Thanks for the reminder.

Calling you about Southland Log today.

Oct 08, 2010 03:14 AM