The Gowan family once again invited every kindergartener and first grade student to come on down and pick (for a tiny fee) their very own Halloween pumpkin right out of the field where they were grown. Teacher Linnea Totten invited me to come along so I tromped through the sticky brown loam with many chaperone parents. We walked behind the long tractor powered wagon filled with chattering kids. When we got to the pumpkin patch there were all sizes and shapes of kids and pumpkins but somehow everyone managed to pair up with the pumpkin of their dreams. Friendly Gowan’s workers clipped the pumpkins off their dried up vines with big pruning shears. On the walk back to the bus backpacks were filled with pumpkin weight that slowed some kids way down but everyone made it. We also got to tour the apple packing plant where many workers were washing, waxing and boxing apples. When we went into the refrigerated room it smelled like strong apple perfume- the most intensely appley smell imaginable. Terry Gowan lead the tour and was very clear in her instruction to keep all hands in pockets or behind backs. When we emerged from the plant we marched right over to nearby apple trees where each of us was instructed in apple picking “twist and pull down”. Everybody got an apple and as Linnea said, “It is always the best apple of the year” and it was juicy, crisp, fragrant and perfectly ripe. A lovely fall day, the heady scent of countless ripe apples, surrounded by people who know you and care about you- does it get any better than this? Thank you Gowan family and especially thank you Terry.