Operating an ‘if the apples on neighbouring trees are ready, ours will be to’ policy, other parents with larger trees and therefore more apples to spare, having been checking their fruit and keeping me up to date with the seed darkening process and finally, apples from these trees have seeds which are now fully dark brown and have developed, where applicable, a healthy blush of red on the skin.
The apples were ready.
Monday break time, the second group of Gardening Club members, excitedly gathered around the tree and one of the year 3 girls happily demonstrated how to pick the apples without damaging them. Then 6 pairs of hands began the process of stripping the fruit from the trees and our tiny little tree provided 15 apples, of which 10 are a good size and 5 are a tad on the small side. The apples weighed in at 1.3kg and the children were thrilled at the thought that these would be coming into school to be offered as a snack. Obviously this small harvest isn’t going to go far but more eating apples from the trees of one of the parents have been offered to supplement the numbers.
With the apples picked, most of the children headed back to the playground to enjoy the remainder of their break but one of the boys asked if he could stay and help me. So we checked over the beds and together we picked some runner beans, pole beans and a winter squash whose vine had died back.
I have to say that this young man asked a huge amount of intelligent questions and showed that the knowledge he had picked up both in the school garden and his garden at home, had registered and he was able to apply this knowledge to the task in hand and formulate answers to some of his own question through discussion, rather than just getting an answer from me.
The beans went to the kitchen but the apples and the squash are at home with me until the rest of the eating apples arrive for snack and harvest festival is over, respectively.