Autumnal Equinox, you have arrived with such grace and style; I hardly saw you coming! But it is true, today is the first official day of Fall and I am so pleased that it is here. And even though we are still wearing t-shirts and shorts around the garden, I can certainly feel there is magic in the air.
That lovely shift of the seasons changing is ever present in our fruit orchard. Apples are in season! They are ripe and ready and are desperately wanting us to enjoy them (I'm not entirely sure that last bit is true but like to think it is!).
This afternoon we had Ms. Lam's kindergarten class come in for the first time. It was wonderful watching them get oriented in the garden. We learned the garden's cardinal rules and promised, hands over hearts, with fervor, to respect each of the rules that protect both us and all that live in the garden. We went on a guided scavenger hunt and stood next to purple flowers, the red leaves of chard, aging corn stalks, youthful cornstalks and finally, we scattered about to find the tallest plant in the garden -- the sunflower.
Each item we found was touched gently, smelled, and fully appreciated. Children are so wonderful. Ms. Lina taught them the 6 parts of the plant song which brought them from teeny, tiny seeds to full grown plants, and with all the might of their little bodies, they lifted their arms as leaves and said, "leaves!" and stood taller as their plant-bodies grew taller. I could have sworn that there were children blossoming all over the place! That may have been the best part of the day but we still had to harvest those apples that were begging to be enjoyed. And with that, Miss Cassie taught them what it meant to harvest, and they hopped their ways over to the apple orchard where they each got to harvest an apple.
We sliced them up and there they sat, attentive and patient, for their little slice of heaven. We took a moment to appreciate the fruit and discussed what it smelled like, what it sounded like (the ocean!) and what we thought it would taste like. Then the crunching began, the oooohs and mmmmms were quick to follow. Success!