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Keeping Up With Maury
Patterson's Fruit Farm in winter
by Maury Feren

Things sure look different traveling to Patterson's Farm this time of the year.

The scenery is always beautiful on Mayfield Road once you get past the shopping malls at Golden Gate. Past Hillcrest Hospital and then on to one of the most scenic spots in greater Cleveland. Looking down that hill as you move into the Gates Mills area is an unforgettable sight. There is no way to describe its beauty. Each season brings something out in it that singles it out.

In spring and mid-summer the greenery overtakes you. You are looking out at hundreds of trees meshed together. It is too beautiful to describe. In fall the multi colors are magnificent. Golden brown, yellow, green, red and almost every shade of the rainbow. I always look forward to a drive through that area all the way to Chesterland.

You can always add to the beauty of this trip if you go through Chagrin River Road. That provides a picture perfect copy of the area coming down the hill. Alas, it is winter and we see a lot of bare areas. However, even with this loss of greenery there is a beauty there that cannot be found elsewhere in Greater Cleveland.

Our destination was Patterson's Farm. It sure looked different when we drove in. It was a very cold afternoon and there wasn't a soul in sight as we walked in. The store was open and how strange it felt to be the only ones there. We had been there a number of times in the fall to purchase apples, pumpkins and gourds. Nothing of this nature was in sight. Just a few apple displays and all kinds of jams, jelly, caramel popcorn, and some pickled items. Buying in that kind of environment is a turn-off.

Nothing excites you when you are the sole customer. We had a pleasant conversation with one of the mangers who was kind enough to tell us about all the farm producers in this area. It was quite interesting. We did learn a great deal.

Patterson's apples are known all over Ohio. Essentially, they feature all the new varieties such as Galas Fugis, Jonagold, and a few older varieties. I was pleased to know that the Jonathan apple, an early variety, was still available.

I asked what the most popular apple was that they offered. The answer was the Honey Crisp which has taken over the top spot. I also asked why this apple was so expensive. The answer was that they are a low producing apple. Other apples produce much more. That is why it sells at such a high price.

However, people are still willing to pay the price for its crisp, sweet taste. We purchased jelly and caramel corn and then headed home. It was well worth the trip even though it had been such a cold, snowy day. I'll be waiting for spring and summer.

On to another topic…As an author, I am always interested in whether people are reading my book. It is almost a mystery to me. I read about the sale of hundreds of books by major authors and some minor ones. I see people going in and out of the Beachwood Library so books are being read. How many through Kindle and e-books?

But what surprises me is the reaction when I talk to people who have purchased my book. When I ask them what stories they like best they answer with we just started it or we are going to get to it. Some of them are people who were so concerned to get an autographed copy. Yet, few have read the book. I can't understand it. There have only been a few who discussed it with me, but I can count them on both hands.

Putting that aside, I can recommend a couple of books for those who like to read. Ashford Place is a soap opera saga that keeps you interested. I found it kept me involved. And Sons: A Novel is a powerful reflection about a family and sons.

My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel by Ari Shavit is a terrific book about Israel and Palestine. It's a must read for anyone interested in the history of that conflict with suggestions of what it would take to make it happen.

My book, My Life So Far, is available for sale at Corky and Lenny's, Mac's Books and Books by Aurora. You can also find book copies at the Beachwood, Cleveland Heights, Lee Road, and Shaker Heights Libraries. Give it a whirl. It's an easy read, lots of good stories. I can assure you that you will enjoy it. You'll think more about reading once you taste it.

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