Apples, apples, and more apples. Victory Garden Founder Harvey Pessin dropped his tailgate to reveal a truck bed filled with bagged apples. He and other Victory Garden volunteers made a trip to Washington, Conn. Wednesday, November 6, where a private property owner with more than 150 apple trees welcomed him and others to pick for free as many apples as they liked. “All we had to do was pick,” he said. Estate crews in Washington were able to haul produce and load guests’ vehicles.
The hundreds of pounds of ripe crisp fruit will go to the FAITH food pantry, for one, to benefit those in need. The Victory Garden’s yield of fruits and vegetables is also grown and harvested for the town’s food pantry.
A Victory Garden volunteer who had toured the Washington estate in June first met the donor, who wished to remain anonymous. From there, they welcomed Mr Pessin and his garden volunteers to glean their apples. Gleaning is the phrase used for picking another land owner’s food, Mr Pessin said. “So, we had a gleaning outing,” he said. “We had a great time.” On Wednesday afternoon, Mr Pessin stood in his driveway, wondering how he would unload the hundreds of pounds of apples in his truck.
That evening he sent out an email to Victory Garden volunteers, asking who might help him deliver the estimated half ton of apples to the food pantry on Thursday morning, November 7.
In his email, he wrote: “I’m thinking that I have between 800 and 1,000 pounds of apples in the truck. Unfortunately, I won’t have the estate’s ground crew to help me unload the truck.” He indicated that he would be ready to deliver the fruit around 8 am Thursday. “If anybody is available, please come by St John’s Church on Washington Avenue in Sandy Hook and lend a hand.”
His email also described his good experience at the Washington orchard. “When we arrived at the estate, we were met by the property manager Bobbi and the owner of the estate. We were given a tour of the vegetable gardens, the greenhouse, and finally, the apple orchard. There were 150 apple trees there to be picked. Bobbi provided us with apple bushels, apple poles, and apple ladders.
“There were many different varieties, and Bobbi pointed out which apples were best of eating, for pie making, for long term storage, and any other interesting information she knew about the trees”
He explained that Bobbi and staff spent three hours loading volunteers’ vehicles.