After tons of searching, many phone calls and a few failed attempts we finally found a u-pick apple orchard. In all our 26 years of life, neither my husband nor I have gotten the opportunity to pick apples from trees; this year ended that streak. We took the little squirt out to Porter Orchard in Michigan, bought a large bag for $13.99 and took a hay ride out to the Macintosh trees.
Once we arrived at the Macintosh apples we showed our little ones the trees. She immediately noticed the red apples and shouted with glee! This experience reinforced the fact that we get food from nature, something we’ve been working on with our garden as well as harvesting honey with great-grandparents. She snagged a few red apples and placed them into our bag. After a few apples she was pretty much done, which any of you with toddler knows, that happens pretty regularly. My husband and I filled up the rest of the bag and the three of us exited the maze of trees awaiting the hay ride.
While we waited for the hay ride to pick us back up, our little squirt couldn’t wait to try an apple. Her dad was kind enough to shine one up really nicely and handed it over. How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Macintosh?! We don’t know either, she gave up licking it after a few tries and bit right in. She definitely was digging the freshness of the apple right off the tree!
After returning home we took some of our apples and processed them into apple pie. With inspiration from assembly lines, our little one used our apple peeler to peel, spiral and core the apples; her dad unloaded and reloaded the apples and I cut them up into squares. Once the apples were ready daddy and baby girl spent time adding the ingredients and put the filling into the crust. The apple pie was incredibly delicious and our little one was so proud of the pie that she had made.
Take some time this fall to go apple picking and then process some of those apples into something amazing like apple sauce, apple pie, apple cobbler, whatever else you can imagine! (or simply eat the apples too!)
*Teacher Tip: find a way to get your students harvesting food from somewhere local. If you’ve started a garden at school go out and pick some food and talk about food coming from nature. If you don’t have space for a garden grow herbs in your classroom window, harvest those and make a simple dip with cream cheese and put it on crackers. These handson experiences help strengthen their knowledge of where their food really comes from.