Did you hear that sound? It’s preschoolers chomping down on fall’s crispiest fruit: the apple. Kids from Florida to Kentucky participated in National Farm-to-School Month with the Southeast Crunch, a celebration orchestrated by ASAP and the Southeast state leads. Over 600,000 students took took a big bite of a fall fruit or veggie at noon on October 21st.
Preschoolers from ASAP’s Learning Lab at the Child Care Center of First Presbyterian Church of Asheville joined in the fun with an apple taste test and a visit with two local apple growers from Creasman Farms.
Today, we’ll take you inside the classroom for the big crunch. Jessica Sparks-Mussulin from ASAP kicks off the morning with a storybook about an apple farmer named Annie. The kids crowd around the book to see pictures of Annie’s orchard.
Next, Dawn and Colby from Creasman Farms pass out apples to the children. Dawn shows the students pink lady apples, and then a greenish-yellow variety called Gold Rush. The kids taste test the apples as a group. Next they vote for the apple they liked the best by putting a sticker on a poster.
There’s a surprise at the end of the day: the kids make their own apple pies. Teachers help them peel the apples and put them in the crust. The kids love eating the peels and pretending to be chefs.
Learning to enjoy and prepare local produce encourages kids to form healthy eating habits. Meeting farmers helps kids understand where food comes from and all the work it takes to bring it to their tables.
Find out how to bring farm-to-school activities into your home or classroom at www.growing-minds.org And listen to more stories in our apple series, including an interview with farmer Dawn Creasman, at www.soundcloud.com/growinglocal