Thursday, September 27, 2012

the orchard (and other things I didn't do as a kid during fall)

Okay, maybe I don't really want this to be a post about things I didn't get to do as a kid.  But that is a sentiment that struck me as I chaperoned Tulip's kindergarten class trip to County Line Orchard.  I picked apples off of trees only once in my life prior to having children.  Once.  It was a field trip and somewhere in my mother's house is a picture of me and my 5th grade class standing in front of the sign for the orchard.

We have several pictures of our own children at various orchards.  Is this something that just wasn't done in the 70's?

Also, I raked leaves when I got home to make the leaf jumping pile huger.  And then it hit me - I didn't jump in leaves as a kid either.  We had two massive, and I mean massive, pine trees in my front lawn growing up.  I don't know what variety of pine tree they were except that they shed needles that hurt your feet when you stepped on them and they dropped pine cones.  Not soft, slender, corncob shaped pine cones.  Very hard triangle shaped pine cones.  The type of pine cones that are perfect for spray paint and dipping in glitter.

Anyway, there was no raking of leaves and jumping into leaf piles when I was a kid.

But enough about me.

As parents, we prefer Garwood's.  It's a bit rough around the edges and I suppose that's why we like it. County Line Orchard is a well-oiled field trip hosting machine, let me tell you.  Here's the thing that is so brilliant about County Line Orchard (in terms of hosting field trips, that is): the gutters.

Yes.  Gutters.

When the trailer brought the class to the apple picking row of trees, we were told that all the trees were bare.  And this was true.  Then our tour guide told us that last night while we were sleeping, it rained at County Line Orchard.  It rained apples!  (Clever, right?)  And to catch all those apples falling out of the sky, they had to install gutters in the apple trees.

Yes.  Gutters!  The children were able to easily pick apples out of the gutters.  Well, not that easy.  It still had to be a bit of a challenge.  An event.

It was interesting to chit-chat with the other chaperone moms (there were dads there too, of course) and to hear them mention their favorite orchard or pumpkin patch.  Places where they have started family traditions or have been carrying on old traditions.

What's yours?

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