Picking in 32 Degrees and Snow: An Annotated Photograph

We had a bumper crop of apples this year and, thankfully, we had an extended season to harvest them. But Mother Nature put us on notice that today was going to be the end of our apple-picking season.

We keep pretty busy around here, so our time to pick was limited. Mike's mom has been doing a ton of picking for us, but cleaning out the trees was too much for her to do all at once. As it turned out, our big day to pick was freezing cold with snow and wind. These aren't our usual picking conditions and we learned a few obscure tips along the way.

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We went out to pick with regular gloves and within minutes, our fingers were numb. The solution was a layer for warmth underneath a waterproof layer. Dishwashing gloves did the trick.

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The biggest trick was to stay warm, which was tough to do with so much wet snow. We used a total of four picking bags because as we picked snow-covered apples, our picking bags got wet and then made our legs wet. We'd come in with a load of apples, throw our picking bags into the dryer, and take two dry bags out with us again. It worked so well, we started throwing everything in the dryer every time we came back with a new load.

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Once our pants got wet, water accumulated in our boots. Is there anything  more miserable than wet feet?!? Rubber boots weren't quite dry enough, so I pulled out the old, cracked Sorels. Duct tape sealed the cracks, at least for an hour at a time.

Warm underneath, waterproof on top, plus a balaclava for the cold wind at our necks -- plus lots of coffee -- helped us finish the day.  

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