One of my favorite things about homeschooling is the abundance of field trips and hands-on learning opportunities we are able to provide for our children.
A few weeks ago, our local homeschool group had the pleasure of being invited to visit an Amish farm and participate in making apple cider. The hosting family was very kind and welcoming to us and were happy to have children enjoying the process.
One of the many things I admire about Amish communities is that they have such a strong sense of community. They come together to help one another in ways that we don’t often see in this country anymore. In addition to learning about making apple cider, our children were able to see firsthand, the truth of the statement, “many hands make light work.” There was a lot of work to be done, but there were also a lot of people pitching in, so everything went quickly. And, the work was more fun and not burdensome because of the fellowship and community involved.
When we first got there, the children all ran out to the apple tree to gather apples.
Pretty soon, there were buckets and buckets, overflowing with apples, just like this one
After gathering the apples, children sorted out the ones with bad spots, while some of us ladies cut out those bad spots–there I am, woefully unprepared for having my picture taken–proof that I am keeping it real around here! lol. :)
Once the apples were ready, they all got placed in the machine that would grind them up. Below, you can see my husband adding apples and helping while my oldest son was cranking–it was hard.
This boy has the temperament that will take him far. He is very diligent and determined when it comes to pushing through the hard things. He kept working and working, long after most of the children had lost interest and ran off to play.
After the apples were all smashed and squeezed, they were pressed, and the cider squeezed out and poured down.
Finally, it was poured through cheesecloth to strain it, and then we all got to sample the fruit of our labor. It was delicious. It was a very hot day, so the cider was naturally warm, and very fresh.
What are some of your favorite fall traditions?