Yesterday was Lani's preschool class's trip to Hillcrest Orchard in Edneyville, NC. This place was awesome! (http://www.steppapples.com/) The children were all excited! The excitement kinda fizzled a little bit when we all learned that we would be using port-a-john's. It was gross and disgusting. I would have rather popped a squat in the apple orchard, but I didn't want to scare anyone. HA!
First we got a lesson in the barn about different types of apples, how they are different colors, different sizes, and taste different. The lady told the children that God made apples just like he made people... each a unique creation by His own hand, and He loves them all the same just like He loves us. The lady then used the apple peeler, slicer, corer and made everyone an apple wedge snack. They were so very excited about this!!
After our barn apple lesson, we went on the wagon ride pulled by a tractor. They were ecstatic about this too. The only downside to this ride was that it was 41 degrees at 10 AM on a beautiful Fall Western North Carolina morning. The wagon ride showed the children the different trees the peach trees, the sunflower and soybean patch, the corn maze, the pumpkin patch, and a tour through the apple orchard. The wagon stopped for us to pick apples just before the end of the ride. We picked "Blushing Gold" apples. These are very good... crisp and tart. They are called Blushing Gold because they are golden where the sun doesn't strike them, but where the sun strikes the apples, they are sunkissed with red at the top only. Lani had a blast picking the apples and playing in the orchard. Luckily the bees weren't swarming the place! On the way back to the general store, the guide told the children the story of Johnny Appleseed. How he carried appleseeds in his knapsack, wore a pot on his head, and always carried his Bible. She told them that if it weren't for Johnny Appleseed, there wouldn't be any apple orchards. The children were totally taken with this story. We also sang a song.. there was a fruit that had a name and apple was it's name OH A-P-P-L-E, A-P-P-L-E, and apple was it's name-oh. They thought that song was hilarious!
After our wagon ride, we went through the sunflower and soybean maze. The children were too short to go through the corn maze, and the tour guide was fearful that the children would be overwhelmed by the tall corn stalks and panic. The object of the sunflower maze was to find soybean Sally at the end of the maze (she was a scarecrow). This was quite a challenge to the children, but they enjoyed it. Sadly, we got the first frost of the year Sunday night, so the sunflowers looked sad. They were wilted, but there were some that were still beautiful.
Once we made our way through the sunflower maze, we came to the picnic area to learn about apple cider and sample it. A lot of the children didn't seem to like it very much. After the cider sampling and a small break, we gathered for lunch and sang out Johnny Appleseed blessing and had lunch together.