Thursday, May 12, 2011

Bees and Strawberries Field Trip

Julia and I were invited to join some friends for a homeschool field trip this morning at Butler's Orchard. This is the same working farm we visit in the fall to get our pumpkins, but we have never gone to the orchard in the spring. The focus of today's excursion was bees and strawberries - all very fascinating for me, but some of the information was a little over Julia's head.

We went to four different stations during our two-hour visit. First, we walked through a small cherry orchard to get to a cluster of bee hives. We didn't get too close to the hives, so I'm not convinced that Julia was able to see the bees going in and out of the hives. But she did see a bee crawling on the ground in front of her, which captured her attention for a minute or two.
On our way back through the orchard, Julia closely inspected a cherry tree and its dead blossoms and green blobs (which will soon turn into bright red cherries).
Next it was story time. Julia listened to a felt-board story about how strawberries grow and produce fruit. I'm not sure how much information she remembers from the presentation, but she did sit still and listen for the entire ten minutes.
After learning about the life cycle of a strawberry plant, it was time to get our own plants. No matter how hard I tried, Julia kept putting her plant in the cup upside-down. She got a little annoyed with me when I planted it right-side up, but I'm sure she'll be happy once the little guy is growing and thriving.
Our last activity was a tractor-pulled cart ride through the farm. We drove past two strawberry patches, which will be ready to pick in a couple of weeks. I'm sure we'll return in June to pick some fresh strawberries!