My daughter and I are doing My Father’s World for our kindergarten curriculum and we are on Lesson 4, the letter A. This lesson is all about apples. I thought that instead of learning from a book how apples are grown, picked, and processed, we ought to go out and visit a real apple orchard. So that’s what we did.
It was a gorgeous day and there wasn’t anyone but us and the bees at the orchard!
We picked two different kinds of apples: Winesaps and Arkansas Black. These are the Arkansas Black apples, below. They are sweeter than the Winesaps, which are more tart, but great for making applesauce.
The trees were marked with ribbons so we could tell which apple trees we needed to go to. The orchard was also harvesting Golden Delicious and Sleeping Beauty apples.
We picked two buckets full of apples in a little over an hour.
The apples that we couldn’t reach we could pick by using this wire basket type rake. It picks the apple and catches it in the basket. Sometimes the ones up high looked so perfect but then after we picked them, we’d notice a worm hole on the other side. Yuck.
The orchard also sold honey and fresh apple cider. Fresh apple cider is a million times better than the stuff from the store. Wow! It was so good! I wish I could get it all year round.
We usually like to warm our apple cider on the stove with a few cinnamon sticks but this cider didn’t need anything. We just enjoyed the fresh apple flavor alone. It smelled amazing.
So far we’ve made apple crisp, applesauce, and apple muffins with our apples. Fresh picked apples taste so much better than the ones that have been sitting around in grocery stores for ages. So good!
To make applesauce, we filled our crockpot to the brim with apples and let them cook overnight. Crazy how in the morning all those apples had condensed into a fourth of the size! It was good just the same. We didn’t even need to sweeten it. It was delicious over pancakes that morning. Below are the Winesaps that we used for our applesauce.
My daughter got to learn how apples are grown, picked, and processed by seeing it first hand. This is what I love about homeschooling, hands-on learning in the great outdoors. So much better than learning it at a desk from an encyclopedia.
And I’m pretty sure this trip to the apple orchard is going to be a new fall tradition for us. I’m already looking forward to more of that fresh apple cider.