Organic (Frugal) Goodness

We just returned from a super-fun (and frugal) trip to an organic apple festival at the Rodale Institute — an event that is quickly becoming my favorite birthday tradition!!

Some of the apples required a bit of team-effort……

…but it was well-worth it……..

….to end up with a half-bushel of organic apples like this one!

The event featured free admission, free parking, pick your own organic apples at $1.50/lb, $15 for a half-bushel, or $25 for a full-bushel. We’ll be baking lots of pies, and making lots of apple sauce! Yummm!!

On the way home, we stopped at Premise Maid Ice Cream — fantastic!!

For more organic goodness, you can check out the guest post I wrote for Stonyfield’s new blog, The Buzz. It features 5 No Mess After School Crafts for Kids, all of which are new projects!

Wishing you and your family a fun-filled weekend!!


  1. Dear Valerie,

    Why do I have shoe prints on my shoulders?

    Also, I like how nearly every apple required team-work, according to Emily.


  2. Sounds perfect. Looks like the girls had a great time. That reminds, I must get out to Oak Glenn and get apples.

  3. Sounds like an awesome fall activity. I’d better go grab an apple – I just read several apple-picking posts in a row πŸ™‚

    • Apple picking has become quite fashionable, it seems! LOL It is great fun, and we were blessed with fantastic weather! If you have an orchard near you, it is definitely worth the trip!

  4. How fun! We looked into apple picking, but the closet place near us would cost us $24 just to get in!

    • OMGoodness! That does seems like a lot just to get in. Do you have a farmers market near by that sells them? You could do an apple hunt in the backyard instead!

      We are so grateful to have the Rodale Institute relatively close by — it is an amazing resource for organic gardening, plus they have the best organic apples (over 30 different varieties!!).

  5. What fun! And does this mean it was your birthday recently? If so, Happy Birthday!

    • It’s coming up, and I’m still in denial that it’s so close already…. *sigh* the time goes by so quickly!

  6. Our local orchards require you to buy a small bag ($6 or 7) per person, which works out to about the same as yours. It IS a large up-front cost, but you’re getting a bag of fruit, plus whatever you munch in the orchard, plus maybe a hay ride.

    We save the cores and grab some fallen apples (and acorns) to feed to the pigs afterwards.

    Then within the next week, we have a pie-making gathering, plus I put up a bunch of apple sauce. For that, it works out to be cheaper to buy a big bag of “seconds”, fruit with bruises or small blemishes.

  7. One way I think about the expense of these things is in relation to other entertainment purchases. Movie tickets are going to cost as much as a bag of apples. But you’re stuck in a dark theater on a beautiful fall day. You will probably also shell out for popcorn, soda and candy, none of which has the nutritional profile of fresh (organic!) fruit. Then you’ll hear about the movie tie-in toys for the next two weeks.

    There are so many other lessons out there in the orchard… life cycles, stages of ripeness, varieties of apples, what lives in and around apples, varieties of wildflowers, making new friends, running around… Plus, if you have a picky eater, they’re more likely to eat fresh fruits they pick.

    • I completely agree, Alexa! Sounds like we have a lot in common. We live a very frugal lifestyle (no cable, no GPS, I don’t have a cell phone, etc), but the food… the food is sacred. And the orchard offers practically endless learning opportunities! Plus it is so much FUN! πŸ™‚

  8. ooo very fun! We are going apple picking in a few weeks. Ours has these cool basket claw things on a long pole to get the ones up high but I think the team work looks like a lot of fun!

    • We made one out of an old 2-liter soda bottle (with a hole and claw cut-out), a broom handle and some tape. Not as elegant as a proper picker, but it only cost the 5 cent deposit on the bottle.

    • I saw one of those, but it wasn’t until AFTER we had already picked our apples. It’s okay, we had a lot of fun playing acrobats anyway, lol!

  9. Dear Valerie,
    Looks like a great time! We enjoy apple picking with the children every Sept, too.
    I just wanted to let you know I have been following your blog for a few months now and have enjoyed it. But I wanted to warn you that I will now be stalking the blog now for your local places to go ideas! We are moving from IL back to our (my hubby and I) hometown area of Reading/Wyomissing, PA.
    I am thrilled to have your blog as a local resource for fun frugal outings!
    Thank you!

    • Welcome to FFFB, Mignon!! I’m so happy you are enjoying our little bloggy-blog, and that we will soon be neighbors — how exciting! xoxo πŸ™‚

  10. Oh, to have an organic orchard near by! We go apple picking every Fall and I love it! Last year I punched holes in a large packing box, shredded up some old newspaper and stored apples in the basement that way for weeks. You can always tell when some of the apples had started to go when their perfume permiated the whole basement.

    • I know!! I feel SO lucky to have the orchard nearby! I wish I could send some your way, but the post office would probably frown upon such things…

      Yay for apple-picking in the Fall! πŸ™‚

  11. Hey, I was there too! I love the Rodale Institute, and apple picking has become a yearly thing for us there. We live in Kutztown so we’re terribly fortunate to have such a great place for organic apples literally miles away.