Autumn Apple Adventure

“Free the child’s potential, and you will transform him into the world.”

Maria Montessori

It is such a delightful time of year for us to be outside, enjoying the fruits of nature.  We are fortunate in that we live near several orchards, and we recently spent an afternoon exploring an orchard that supplies our local community with several varieties of apples, grapes, pears, plums, walnuts, figs, and in the coming year, cherries.  This orchard, in particular, also offers farm-fresh eggs and year-round apple cider.

We introduced ourselves to the owner and after some time spent getting acquainted, my daughter grabbed a basket and got right to work, picking and eating apples, occasionally throwing a couple in her basket as she made her way through the orchard.  It reminded me of this book we’ve read to her since she was a baby, Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey.  My husband and I laughed our way through the orchard, wondering exactly how many apples our daughter would eat on her journey through the trees.
My one-year-old son also got in on the action.  He’s normally a picky eater, but placed any and all objections on hold once he saw how much fun his sister was having.
Once we were done collecting some Gala, Honeycrisp, and Jonagold apples in our basket, we took a short break to look at the differences in appearance, taste, and texture between them.  We may have also eaten some more.
Finally, we made our way to the chicken coop to say hello to the chickens, to watch them play, and to imitate their sounds.
We had a great experience at the orchard, enjoying nature’s bounty and stimulating our senses.  With the abundance of apples now in our home, I researched a few healthy, all-natural alternatives to traditional fall apple desserts, and we are excited to be experimenting with new recipes and different varieties of apples as we eat our way through the list.  If you’re looking for inspiration for Practical Life in the kitchen with your preschooler, or if you’re looking for healthy, rustic, fall recipes, this cinnamon apple tart, paired with some whipped topping, has been a real hit in our home.

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