It’s surely harvest time at the farm! During our first week, a preschool asked, “What does ‘harvest” mean?” There is no doubt Farm Sprouts will have incorporated the word ‘harvest” as a regular part of their vocabularies by the end of the season! Today, we harvested apples and sunflower seeds. It was another beautiful week!
Farm Sprouts voted for either apples or pears. Apples were more popular, but as to not leave out those who voted for pears, we hope to harvest from our pear tree soon as well! We checked on them in the Wednesday afternoon group, but they were still a little too crunchy for our taste. Preschoolers used apple stamps to sign in as we learn to identify our names. They loved playing a collaborative harvesting game together and requested to play again next week. Other welcome activities included feeding our red-bellied cooter turtle, Coltrane, and observing the quiet monarch chrysalises and very busy harvester ants. We wonder what is happening inside of the chrysalises?
During our gathering, we shared our thoughts on what happens on a farm in the fall. It will be fun to continue to build on our ability to observe and describe the changes we see as the season progresses. Our classroom now has two trees inside, one for each day of the program, and Farm Sprouts added the leaves they collected last week to the tree. It was suggested that at the end of the season, we should cut the leaves down so we can watch them fall to the ground, just as happens in nature!
For our Invitations to Play, Experiment, Explore! we continued with our seed art, created corn art with by stamping Legos in paint, and worked as bakers in our sensory bin, which was filled with baking utensils, flour, and cinnamon shakers. They made a variety of tasty treats, including cinnamon rolls and apple pie. Lastly, they harvested sunflower seeds from the heads we cut down early in the season. This year, the birds came sooner that past years and munched down more than their fair share, but we managed to capture enough to harvest in order to planting again in the spring. This is an important seasonal tradition in our program. Since our very first pilot seasons in 2016, we have planted sunflower seeds in the spring and harvested in the fall. Therefore, these seeds are now our F4, or fourth generation seeds. Small hands and young minds can accomplish great work.
At this point, the baking, creating, and harvesting had worked up a hunger in our bodies. We located our picker and a basket to make our way down the lane to harvest apples. We encountered some of our animals roaming about while most of them lazed about due to the hot weather. Farm Sprouts helped send the picker up into the trees and then down again as they inspected their apple. The “bad apples” went into the basket to feed to the animals or to compost, while the apples worthy of eating we enclosed safely into hands. We returned to the classroom to wash up and relaxed as we munched. We discussed apple life cycles and how scientists document discoveries, watching Ms. Brooke model approaches to journaling. Then, it was time for Farm Sprouts to open their journals for the first time this season! Per their request from last week, we headed to the Children’s Garden to explore and journal before wrapping up the day.
“Honor the hands that harvest your crops.” – Dolores Huerta