For our latest Griswald family outing, we summoned some apple picking suggestions, searching for an orchard or farm that was within an acceptable meltdown radius. Our babysitter suggested C.N. & Smith Farm in East Bridgewater which not only has an apple orchard but a pumpkin patch, and --the deal closer -- a small petting zoo. We decided to go on a weekday to avoid the crowds and local riff raff but our plan backfired as the place was overrun with buses of elementary school children on apple outings. Turns out, the grubby public can only pick apples on weekends so we were ousted from the orchard -- quite rudely -- not by any farm employees but by the bossy, presumptuous signage that popped up at every turn. In addition to shutting us out of the pick, the signs said:
"No Running!" * "You break it, you buy it!" * "Don't pick up the pumpkins by their stems!" * "Don't touch! * "Pay for what you pick!"* "No food or drinks!"* "Don't try to reach this, ask a C.N. Smith employee!"* "Keep out! Employees only!" * The exclamation points were abundant and since Carrie and Paul can't read yet, we pretty much spent the morning barking all of these scribbled sentiments at them. I can understand how these crotchety signs must have accumulated over time but seeing them in their entirety gave the place a hostile vibe.
Thankfully, we weren't the renegade apple-picking, pumpkin stem-holding thieves that this place is accustomed to. We petted a few goats and sheep, purchased some pumpkins and mums, and headed home -- nothing too crazy. However, when Paulie started chasing a couple of chickens on the way out, the disciplinarian tone of the farm suddenly took possession of Caroline: "Don't chase the chickens, Paulie! They'll peck you!" I'm sure there will be a sign for that next time.
(photo: Caroline says, "Can I pick up a freakin' pumpkin or what!?" Paulie says, "This is bullshit. I'm going back to hang with the goats."