Monday, September 14, 2015

Homeschool Field Trip: Apple Picking at Willow View Farms


I rarely set up field trips as intentional, often they'd be more categorically listed as "accidental" (happily!), and this would be one of those. The morning we went out to Willow View Farms in Abbotsford  was a gorgeous Fall day. It was chilly and sunny-just like apple picking should be. By mid-morning our jackets were off and we were noisily chomping our fresh honeycrisps.


With moving into the lowermainland of British Columbia last year near the end of September, I felt I really missed apple season, because as much as we travel back and forth between borders, we can't take fruit or seeded vegetables across with us. I was also schooling the kids, packing up our apartment in Blaine, WA, finding housing, and doing all sorts of other necessary and tiring things, and I unfortuantely missed one of my favorite seasons in the year-apple pickin' time. 

Growing up near Nebraska City, which is the home of Arbor Day, apples are THE Autumn seasonal marker for me,  aside from hayfever! I've picked apples with friends and family since our kids were babies, and before that participated in my own caramel apple glory from youth. Apples are A BIG DEAL, in other words, and missing them last year felt awful. 


 The apple season this year is early because of the high temperatures we've had all summer, so I was glad I'd been watching the local farms on facebook since early August. I was serious about apples this year, and I was rewarded beautifully! The friends we had planned to go with had a sick day that morning, but we enjoyed ourselves nonetheless. The honeycrisps are some of our family's favorites, and they are extremely well priced for u-picks at $.89/lb. For one of the most expensive apples out there--that's a great price! We stocked up with about 27 lbs of apples this time, and will plan to go back later in the season when we're back from our trip if there's still some straggler varieties.

Often people love summer time, and I get that. The sun is out daily, everything is lush with growth, and there's plenty of time to relax by the pool, with friends under endless sunsets, and community activities, but Autumn will always be my favorite season. I love the weather turning from hot to chilly (but not frigid!), the colors everywhere, the routines of September (a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils, anyone?), and of course, the apples. I even found a fun cookbook to help me hone in on my apple recepies, An Apple A Day, which will come in handy with, ahem, 27 punds!


I'd definitely go back to Willow View Farms, as I thought their orchard was very clear and organized with a great product, the staff was really friendly, and there were a few things for kids to do, too, including feeding chickens, a petting zoo (goats, sheep, pigs, chickens, rabbits), and a playground suitable up to age 4. Lukka enjoyed the artful representation of the apple's life cycle and asked a few questions, and both kids loved the delicious 'firsts' of the honeycrisps.
 It was an excellent morning spent outside in the orchard! 

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