I took today off from work so that we could take a long weekend and drive up to Springfield, Massachusetts, for some autumn festivities, which included visits to an apple orchard, a farm with a pumpkin patch and farm animals, museums, and outdoor walks. We took Kaia to see some farm animals once again, and this time at Fletcher Family Farm, she enjoyed seeing the baby cows and getting closer to them than she got to the goats at the last farm during our Richmond, Virginia, trip. She waved and said hi over and over to all of them, going to each of them and waving hi. Even when they moved closer to her, she didn’t flinch as much, and she genuinely seemed to be observing them carefully and inspecting them.
We also Kaia look at all the fall mums decorating the pumpkin patch and on display for sale, and also the pumpkins. Fletcher Farm is really well set up: although the hay rides and kids’ activities are only on the weekends, they have plenty of photo ops for children that are cute, with pumpkins, a barn door, and the like. While every northeast family probably takes their kids to these types of places at least once, they probably also want to ensure they get some cute photos with all these things. Sometimes, it can work, and other times, it results in the kids getting mad at being told what to do and where to go and ultimately end up in tears (both happened to us with Pookster in a very short span of time, as hilarious as it was).
The apple orchard I chose was closed this season for “Pick Your Own” unfortunately, but we still picked up some delicious spiced apple cider donuts and local jams. And in the light rain, Chris drove us up to an apple tree that had fruit on it, and I took Kaia out and carried her so she could see apples on the trees. She initially seemed confused, but when I told her they were apples, she got really wide-eyed and excited, constantly touching the apples, and then proceeded to even knock one of the apples off the tree!
I love seeing fruits and vegetables growing, but seeing the joy and excitement on a little toddler’s face like my Pookster makes the experience even more worth it. Every day, I want her to learn and be exposed to something new. We can be jaded as adults by things like “pick your own,” but I do think it teaches kids about where food comes from. It’s not just from your fridge or the grocery store. There is labor, love, and effort that goes into all this.