The smiles were as bright as the russet autumn foliage as GSB First Graders embarked on an unforgettable adventure to Home Winds Farm.
Their mission? To learn how apples grow and discover the sweet rewards of sustainability. The journey didn't stop there - the next day, students stepped into the GSB Kitchen Discovery Lab to turn their freshly picked apples into a delicious cinnamon apple recipe, proving that learning can be as tasty as it is educational.
Exploring the Orchard
For these curious young minds, the day started early as they gathered on campus, equipped with excitement and wide-eyed wonder. Accompanied by their teachers Mrs. Wilson and Ms. Abbett, students made their way to the Home Winds Farm Apple Orchard to survey the rows upon rows of apple trees stretched out in front of them.
“The objective of this project is to teach first graders about nature, how apples grow, and sustainability,” commented Ms. Abbett. “It’s so great being able to utilize the orchard here on campus to teach the lesson and help students gain an appreciation for the outdoor spaces we have here at GSB.”
GSB Home Winds Farm Manager, Mr. Ned Lincoln, warmly welcomed the young visitors and gave a brief tour of the full Home Winds Farm Garden. After a lesson about pollination, students got down to business plucking ripe apples straight from the trees. As they searched the orchard for their apples, Mr. Lincoln shared fun facts about apple varieties, the role of pollinators, and the significance of organic farming practices. Students’ faces lit up with understanding as they realized the connection between healthy ecosystems and the delicious apples they enjoyed.
From Orchard to Kitchen
After their orchard trip, First Graders returned to school the next morning to meet Mrs. Wilson and Ms. Abbett in the GSB Kitchen Discovery Lab for their next culinary adventure – making a delicious cinnamon apple recipe from scratch. Under their teachers’ guidance, the young chefs peeled, sliced, and cored the apples, their faces filled with anticipation. As the scent of cinnamon filled the air, the children mixed and stirred, gaining valuable skills in precise measurements, teamwork, and following direction.
The Value of Experiential Learning
The project wasn't just about apples and recipes; it was about the transformative power of experiential learning. Studies have shown that students who engage in hands-on experiences retain information better and develop stronger problem-solving skills. Moreover, outdoor excursions like this one foster a love for nature and instill the importance of sustainability from a young age.
Lower & Middle School Director Mr. Kyle Armstrong emphasized the significance of such educational adventures. "Students learn best when they have the opportunity to roll up their sleeves and jump right into a learning environment. Whether it's picking apples in the orchards, cooking in the Discovery Kitchen, or experimenting in the science lab, these hands-on experiences make for a rich, deep learning environment.”
The Sweet Rewards
After the delicious aroma filled every corner of the Kitchen Discovery Lab, it was time to savor the fruits of their labor. The students gathered around the table, eager to taste the cinnamon apple recipe they had prepared themselves.
With their first bites, their faces lit up once again. The apples, grown sustainably, had a unique flavor that they couldn't get enough of. It was a mouthwatering reminder of the importance of knowing where our food comes from and how sustainable practices can lead to delicious results.
As the project concluded, students left with a deeper knowledge of sustainability, a delectable recipe to share with families in time for the fall season, and perhaps most importantly, a truer understanding on how to care for the planet, one apple at a time.