Our weekly field trip was to a local farm to go apple picking. I tried and failed to take the kids apple picking last fall. Even though today's forecast said sunny weather, I was worried I'd have a repeat of last year since it rained most of the drive there today. Thankfully, the sun began to peak through the gray clouds just as we arrived.
I was a little disappointed that we had to buy $20 worth of apples. I would have been perfectly content with a small bag, but it's $10 per person (over age 2) so we had to get the $20 bag. We were able to fill a half-bushel bag, which held dozens of apples.
I learned that the proper apple picking technique is to lift the apple up and twist, rather than pull down or out. If the apple is ripe, it will easily come off this way. The lady at the stand also informed me that many of the apples on the ground were great picks. I don't know if she said this to try and get us to pick them before they rot, or if it's true.
I pulled the toddler-filled-wagon down to the orchard, then let the kids roam freely until they tired.
They each took turns plucking apples.
The farm employee encouraged us to sample the apples. As soon as the kids saw me take a bite out of an apple, they all began eating apples. It seems like the apples should probably be washed first, but she assured us we could eat them.
Jackson served as quality control. He inspected each of the trio's apples for bruises before putting them in the bag. He also picked mostly green apples because, "We need to make pie".
Despite being surrounded by trees, there was little shade. We stayed hydrated, but grew quite hot and tired in under an hour.
The bag of apples became too heavy for Jackson to carry, so we loaded it in the wagon with the trio. Once again, the toddlers kept pulling out apples to eat as Jack and I added freshly picked apples to the bag.
We made our way to the pond for a picnic. There was a perfect size rock for all four kids to sit on. They were so cute sitting in a line. We climbed rocks and ran around in the shade after eating.
Our afternoon at the farm continued with a walk to see the farm animals.
They have rabbits and chickens in unlocked cages that you can open and pet the animals. James thought this was hilarious! Maddie did not.
Amelia loved all of the animals and fearlessly touched all of them.
Maddie was curious and approached the goats. As soon as one started bleating, she began yelling "Go away!" over and over.
Jackson loved all of the animals.
After the long walk back around the pond and through the orchard, we headed back to the van. Jackson did such a great job today. He walked the entire time, never once complained, and was so helpful distributing food to his siblings and inspecting apples.
When we approached the van, an employee came out and asked us if we wanted to sample some fresh apple cider. I was a sweaty mess by that point, so my only response was, "It is hot?" He laughed and informed me it was cold. I didn't even realize people served cold apple cider. We cooled off with our refreshing drink in big kid cups. (Sidenote: I've been trying to fix Amelia's hair in the mornings but she pulls on it all day.)
Surprisingly, none of the kids fell asleep on the way home. I now have more apples than I know what to do with. I didn't even fill the bag completely because we ate so many while we were picking them. I suspect there will be more apple pies, turnovers, and whatever other recipes I can find in our immediate future.
It was another entertaining field trip with lots of fun learning taking place at the farm!