One of our yearly autumn traditions is to spend time at our local community orchard picking apples and pears. I find it such a lovely activity because the orchard is always so quiet and the girls just love learning about the names and different varieties of apple.
Although yesterday was definitely more of a late summer day than an early autumn day, with temperatures at 25°C and glorious sunshine, it was wonderful to be amongst the trees, basking in the sun, taking a big juicy bite out of the freshest and sweetest of apples, naturally warmed by the September sunshine.
The community orchard is such a fantastic idea. With fruiting trees, sensory flower beds, seating areas where both picnics and barbecues are encouraged, a pond teeming with wildlife, a huge bug hotel, compost pits and willow walkways. Every community should have one in my opinion.
Furthermore, Apple picking is a wonderful activity for young kids. It provides so much space and opportunity to talk about food education, ecosystems, mathematics and enriching literary language. Apples from the supermarket are apples, however, whilst selecting and harvesting their own apples they become… “That big juicy red one” or the “small knobbly green one.” and they taste; scrumptious or zingy, sweet or bitter, crunchy or crumbly. There’s so much enrichment occurring naturally with an activity such as this.
We were lucky to have chosen this weekend, because already the trees were down to their last apples. But this made searching for good quality ones fun and they still managed to fill their little baskets. (Just a small basket each, so not to take more than we need)
Our fruit bowl is full, but so are our minds, tummies and hearts. How lucky we are to have such a fantastic resource on our doorstep.
Do you have a community orchard? Have you visited and harvested some fruit?