We are very serious about building our business. But with the lovely weather, we cannot possibly stay indoors all day. So after a long morning bent over our laptops, we load Molly into the car and hit the road.
This time, we drive north, into Gascony. On the map given to us by the nice lady from the tourist office in Tarbes, there is mention of “Bastides and monasteries – the Coteaux Circuit”. It has an extension into Gascony, and we start with that. For we have an ulterior motive…
Apple lovers heaven
By way of Villecomtal-sur-Arros, Marsiac and Miélan, we reach Esclassan-Labastide. Following the signs, we arrive at Vergers de Paupenne. An apple orchard of 6 ha and a true walhalla for apple lovers. We are met by a friendly woman on a bicycle, who explains to us how it works.
There are a lot of different varieties of apples that can be picked at this time. We’re allowed to taste all of them in order to decide which ones we want. Driving up here, we had said that we would take 5 to 10 kg, which we think is reasonable.
We are not the only visitors here, and it seems like people make a family outing of this visit. They bring chairs and picknicks and take their time picking (and eating) apples. There are families of 3 or maybe even 4 generations wandering about the place. And Molly isn’t the only dog. All in all very relaxed and friendly.
We start tasting and picking, accompanied by Molly. She doesn’t like apples but discovers lots of interesting new smells around the orchard. We end up with 5 different varieties and a total of 12 kg. All of them can be kept in a cool and dark place until the end of the year.
This is our yield:
- Morren’s Jonnagored
- Reinette de Canada
- and 5 Opals
Since we will be leaving here on November 7th, we’ll have to either eat or process all of them before that date. I predict lots of apple sauce and apple pies over the next few weeks!
It is past 6 o’clock when we go weigh and pay our apples. We make another small detour along Castelnau-Magnoac and Trie-sur-Baïse before we head home.