Today at Learning Garden Childcare, we celebrated the beginning of Fall by going to Chudleigh’s Apple Farm in Milton! The children were incredibly eager to ride a school bus, pick apples, and see farm animals. This was many of our children’s first field trip as new Seniors and older Juniors, and they felt like “big kids” getting on to the school bus.
We started our trip at Chudleigh’s by seeing how apple cider is made. Lisa, our wonderful tour guide, showed us how they used to make cider using an old fashioned apple press. The children got to taste fresh apple cider and everyone agreed that it was delicious. Next, we walked over to the farm animals and saw many different animals like ponies, cows, pigs, ducks, turkeys, goats, and even a llama! We were even lucky enough to see a few baby animals like piglets and baby cows that were born in the last month. We then rode on a tractor-pulled wagon through the orchard to the apple picking section. The children loved sitting on the bales of hay on the tractor and some even said it was their favourite part of the trip. Lisa explained to us the correct way to pick an apple with a clever rhyme – “eye to the sky and pull gently” – and told us this protected the buds that become apples next year.
The children picked a bushel of Mcintosh apples to bring back to the Centre and each child chose a special apple to eat on the spot. They described the apples as “yummy” and “delicious” and said they couldn’t wait to share the apples with their parents. We also got to take back a jug of fresh apple cider in addition to the bushel of picked apples. Lisa told us that our children were the best behaved group of preschoolers she’d ever encountered, and we said a happy and exhausted “thank you” and “goodbye” to her before getting back on the school bus to return back to the Centre.
All in all, we had a fantastic day at Chudleigh’s and we love how it ties in with our philosophy of children learning where their food comes from and having respect for their food. We’ve noticed that the children are much more inclined to eat healthy when they are directly involved. The children all eagerly ate their apples whole and fresh picked – no one complained about the apple skin being left on or asked for it to be cut and most of the children ate their apples down to the core! We’ve found the same is true of the garden they are growing in our playground. Because the children have had a direct hand in growing the different vegetables, they’re eager to try them – even “different’ vegetables like kale or collard greens! Encouraging the children to eat healthy whole foods is so important to us. On the apple bags the children brought home, you’ll find a free admission to Chudleigh’s if you’d like to go as a family :). We think this will definitely be an annual tradition for our Centre!
Please see the complete field trip album in our parent access section.