Last Friday we had our first field trip of our new year in our new area with a new group. We went to an Apple Ranch. One of the guys showed us around. He showed us his apple picking bag that has a removeable bottom so that the apples can fall easily into the box. We saw tractors hauling enormous crates of apples. We saw apples take a bath. He explained what they do each month of the year for their apples- apple ranchers never get a break! They have hard work to do all year long. He also told us what they do with all the apples. None of them are wasted. Bruised apples are used for baking, food items and juice, tiny apples are juiced, partially rotten apples are used to make apple cider vinegar. We learned that only about 10% of the apples are good enough for selling at the store. We went into the very cold room where they store their apples and then the students were given bags and we walked out to the orchard. Each child was allowed to pick two Jonathan apples. We tasted them later- they were delicious! At the end of our trip, we went to their store area where they had set out for each child a small cup of apple juice and a slice of apple bread. We went out to a beautiful shaded area for a picnic lunch and the kids played on the little green rolling lawn and on the old tractor they had out there. It was a lovely day! We are going back this weekend with Daddy to pick more of these delicious apples!
This is a good way to usher in the new season. We are enjoying working through the Outdoor Hour Fall grid and I was delighted to find in the Outdoor Hour newsletter a link to a “Fall Bucket List” at Upside Down Homeschooling. Everything on the list sounds like a lot of fun, but with trying to settle into our new home, I wan to keep my expectations low. Here is my list (selected from her list):
Top Ten Things to Do this Fall:
1. Go Apple Picking
2. Bake Apple Pie (or apple crisp/cobbler)
3. Have apple cider and apple dumplings with the kids on a rainy day
4. Go to a pumpkin patch and corn maze (our local pumpkin patch has a corn maze! We’ve come up this way for the past few years to go to it- I’m delighted that we will be driving for 20 minutes rather than 2 hours this year!)
5. Do a pastel apple or pumpkin with the kids (another idea linked in the Outdoor Hour newsletter: http://www.hodgepodge.me/2011/10/apple-or-pumpkin-a-pastels-tutorial/). Mine won’t look too good, I’m sure. I’m no artist. I don’t understand things like shading. But we’ll have fun trying!
6. Read Johnny Appleseed
7. Make homemade pumpkin pie
8. Make a fall centerpiece
9. Learn why leaves change colors
10. Make a Thankful Tree in November
And if I find a place with enough leaves to make a big pile and jump in them with the kids, we’ll do that too!