Last week we had the great pleasure of meeting together with many of the other families that live in the same community as we do and we spent an enjoyable hour apple picking before devouring a BBQ.
We didn’t do too bad as we picked about a ton and a half of apples which will be shipped off with all the others to be made into Ashburnham apple juice that we serve in our tea room and sell by the bottle. It is an exciting time when the new batch of apple juice arrives and we get to see how it tastes, with all those heritage apples and also a few pears it can be a bit tart and each year the blend is slightly different but equally delicious.
Before we started to pick the apples Farmer Nick set us the challenge to ponder the harvest and what that means to us. At the first mention of harvest my thoughts went straight away to ‘you reap what you sow’ and I am sure most people are familiar with this saying and concept but not everyone is aware that it comes from the bible.
“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” Galatians 6:7-10
I can really relate to this verse and in truth I must heed the advice as what I am sowing at the moment in regard to my health and body is for sure to please the flesh and not at all about connecting with the Holy Spirit. The early onset arthritis in my knees, the tickly cough that constantly re-occurs and the feeling out of breath are all signs that my body has excessive strain on it but this is a conversation for a whole different blog post.
It was good for the children to ponder the harvest and with them ranging in age from 2 – 13 years there is a whole spectrum of what harvest means to them. I felt it was quite powerful at the end when Farmer Nick made us look at our apple orchards and explained that all the trees grow in straight lines and are pruned, fed and looked after regularly, because of this they produce really good and abundant fruit.
He then lifted the side of one of our poly tunnels and we could see the tomatoes. He explained that this season the tomatoes had not really been looked after, they had been allowed to grow wild and as such they were everywhere, taking over the plot of other vegetables and actually despite them looking so big the fruit they produced wasn’t very good and there was hardly anything there.
It was really good for the children to be able to connect that sometimes God is the great pruner, he is the one who helps us stay on the straight and narrow and prunes away our imperfections and although it might feel difficult at the time, we will then produce tasty and abundant fruit.
If you have an orchard close to you, I definitely recommend approaching the owner to ask if you and your children can help with the harvest. It was a really nice thing to do with my kids and of course we got to take a few apples home at the end and have enjoyed crumble and apple cake since.
This year my family are GORE-TEX Big Days Out Ambassadors and we were happy to wear some of our shoes with GORE-TEX technology as the ground was damp from having rained all morning. I was wearing my Superfit trainers and the girls both had on their Adidas trainers (as they are keeping their newer Superfit ones nice and clean!).
Here are some other ideas of great Autumnal activities –
- This Hedgehog craft from Joy from Pinkoddy is sure to delight your children
- If your kids (or you) are Hama bead crazy, then check out Jennifer’s Little World Autumn themed holders for battery operated tea lights using Hama beads
- Cat from Yellow Days has a simple but tasty recipe for a warming Roasted Butternut Squash and Sage Soup. Yum, yum it sounds delicious!
- After you have enjoyed your soup it must surely be time to tuck into an Autumn apple cake and Emma at A Bavarian Sojourn can help you with a perfect one.
- On the subject of apples, Kirsty from the Mummysphere has a recipe for easy baked apples that makes a delicious autumn or winter warmer
- If you fancy trying out foraging, then check out my tips for beginners and go ahead and make yellow plum chutney using Aly from Bug, Bird and Bee’s recipe.
- Otilia from Romanian Mum Blog has a great easy tree craft that is suitable for all ages
- If Halloween is your thing then you would do well to read Carolin’s post on Halloween Safety Tips from pumpkin carving to trick or treating, so you and your family can have a fun and safe Halloween
- Then if you don’t have enough ideas already head over to visit Cass at Diary of a Frugal Family as she has over 80 ideas for Autumn activities
I’m linking this post up with Fiona at Coombe Mill for #CountryKids and a massive thanks to GORE-TEX for having our family as 2016 Big Days Out ambassadors trying out their shoes.