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Top 10 Tips for Apple Picking Success

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If you've never taken the fam apple picking before, you don't know what you're missing! Here are 10 tips to help your outing go smoothly:

Before You Go

1. Plan your trip. Use our Fall Festivals, Pumpkin Patches, and Apple Picking Guide to choose an orchard.

2. Pack snacks and activities for the road trip – arrive all smiles and ready for fun at the orchard.

3. Bring your camera and read Lorraine’s style tips on how to coordinate for family photos.

4. Bring a canvas tote for apples – a soft carry bag helps to avoid damage to your apples.

While You're There

5. Ask your farmer what’s ripe. You’ll find the tastiest fruit this way!

6. Choose firm, bruise-free apples. Apples should be firm and crisp without damage to the skin or indentation.

7. Know your varietal. Are you making applesauce? Baking? Eating them raw? Choose your apples based on your cooking and eating needs.

8. Simply remove your apple off the tree with a gentle tug. The small stems help to preserve the apples as well. Apples on the outside of the tree with ripen before the inside. Don’t shake branches – this causes damages to the farmer's product and food waste.

Once You Get Home

9. Gently wash your apples.

10. Store them in a cool place.

Enjoy the apples, your photographs and best of all the fall memories!


Written by Lovedy Carroll

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Top 10 Kid Friendly Walks and Trails

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With cooler temperatures coming, it’s almost time to hop out of the pool and into nature! Here’s our list of family-friendly spots. Go with the family or a friend and hit the trail for some fresh air and nature’s best vitamin – Vitamin D.

1. James Pratt Park, Chatham Heights, Fredericksburg – This is a very family friendly park with paved paths. Lots of walkers and bikers use this looped trail, which at one point is unpaved. The trail links to other park trails behind Massad YMCA and St. Claire Brooks Park.

2. Canal Path, Downtown Fredericksburg – Plenty of runners and workout groups like Fit4Mom love to exercise on the Canal Path. It’s also a great location for bird and turtle watching, but it can be a bit buggy along the canal so bring insect repellant.

3. Spotsylvania Towne Centre – Rain or other inclement weather? No problem - walk inside the mall and visit the play area so the younger kids can burn some energy. The mall has its own walking club. More information is available at the Information Desk.

4. Caledon State Park, King George – Enjoy the natural playground along with an easy nature path. The tree-lined nature path is perfect for children of all ages. Bring a picnic and enjoy the playground!

5. Patriot Park, Spotsylvania - This beautiful sunny park connects to Ron Rosner YMCA and athletic fields. There are paved sidewalks and a large playground. The park has a 3-mile trail that loops around the park.

6. Kenmore District, Fredericksburg – On Washington Ave., there are many beautiful Victorian homes, making it a feast for architecture lovers. Take a walk down Washington Ave. to the bottom of the hill to Kenmore Park (also called Memorial Recreation Park), and enjoy a break while the kids play at the shaded playground.

7. Downtown Fredericksburg – In need of urban scenery? With lots of eateries and shops, there are so many reasons to love Fredericksburg. Kids especially love the bookstore Jabberwocky. Depending on the time of year, check the Visitor’s Center for a window scavenger hunt or children’s history tour.

8. Heritage Trail – This trail portion is located near the Rappahannock Falls and eventually reaches the Canal Path. It’s a relaxing walk along the Falls and into downtown. Just be aware of the fast-moving bicyclists or other foot traffic. Bonus - Old Mill Park is adjacent to the trail, so you can detour for some playground time!

9. Loriella Park, Spotsylvania – This park off of Leavells Rd. has a three mile unpaved trail that’s not too difficult with a stroller. It also has a shaded playground. The park also has a 3-mile trail that loops in a wooded area.

10. Embrey Mill, Stafford – This planned housing community in Stafford has an accessible walking trail outside the community. Inside the neighborhood there are parks and playgrounds, which is always a great way to meet new friends.

Bonus: Government Island, Stafford. This 17-acre natural area is home to the quarry where many of D.C.'s buildings came from, including the U.S. Capitol and the White House! The 1.5 mile loop is a scenic heritage trail and is a big fan of dog walkers. Your strollers can go on part of the path, but it's best to leave them behind for the complete loop. Bring a picnic and grab a natural seat on a log to enjoy the view!


Compiled by Lovedy Carroll

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Pouches' Community Corner

Rappahannock Area Court Appointed Special Advocates

CASA is an advocacy center serving children in the Greater Fredericksburg area comprised of Fredericksburg City and the counties of King George, Spotsylvania and Stafford. Its mission is to advocate for and locate permanent homes for abused and neglected children who are navigating the court system.