Last week we had the opportunity to join our local homeschool group on an educational trip to the local fruit farm...and by local (farm) I mean over an hour away! It was amazing though and I'd go again in a heartbeat!!!
So...the trip. I did a quick pitstop at Starbucks before we left. The kids piled in the car and sang silly songs. They also played with their Boogie Boards. I had forgotten to charge my iPad so we had no way to listen to our weekly Classical Conversations information.
When we arrived I piled the littlest A's in the double stroller and headed for the farm market to pay for our spots. It was actually a really good price - $6.00 per person! But, they let the littlest two A's in FREE!
We all met up at one of the front trees and started our tour! I absolutely loved the scenery on the way up and back as well. I love country life....and someday I hope that we will have a nice piece of property of our own.
At the tree the sweet lady (whom I forget her name) gave us an informational speech about apples. They have 40 acres of land and 30 different kinds of apple trees. There are lots of different apples - green, yellow, red, sweet, sour, good for cooking, good for eating...yum yum yum! Then, she showed us how they put the bag on and collect apples and pour them into a crate (a rather large crate) once they are all picked. The kids each got an apple (which we opted to save since the bees are a little crazy and the apple is such a sweet scent it would have attracted bees).
We headed into the sorting building and learned about how the apples are sorted and stored. Here are some photos -- you can see the "merry go round" which is what she called it...and the rather large fridge in the back to store apples. They also make cider here BUT the cider press was down and they are waiting for a replacement part. You can see how the sorting works -- small apples are given to the kids to eat, food banks, cider, etc...large apples to the market...
We then headed to another room where we learned all about bees! They so important in nature because they play a vital role in pollination. Without bees there would be no pumpkins and no apples. We learned that the Queen Bee can sting over and over again without dying. Only the girl bees can sting and they are often known as the worker bees...imagine that only the girls work! The boys are often kicked out of the hive! (I'm not really sure where they go). Also, 30% of bees are killed off each year...this is dangerous as it can seriously effect how successful gardening is.
Before we left we learned about the life cycle of a pumpkin -- starting at a seed, turning into a flower, growing a bud, becoming green and then finally orange (I may have missed a step or two but see the photo).
Then, we headed to the hayride. We got a tour of the farm -- its huge! Then, we came to a small pumpkin patch where the kids all got to jump out and pick a pumpkin! I was originally only going to get a pumpkin for the three big ones but Baby A wanted down and walked around. She picked out the cutest pumpkin and so she got one too! She was SO excited to have a pumpkin!!!
The kids all did a great job picking out pumpkins and enjoyed learning all about apples!
The hayride took us back to the main part of the farm where we sat and had our lunch. Then the kids played on some of the fun equipment. Lastly, we hit up the bakery for some fritters and the farm stand for a bushel of apples.
SOOOO MUCH FUN!! Here is what we took home: