Monday, October 1, 2012

The Apple Orchard: Behind the Scenes.

Ah, kindergarten. It's a special place. Little children, little hands, little raincoats, little rain boots. Everything is little in kinderland. 

Everything, but their energy. 

It's never ending.

In my job I bounce around a lot. I go from classroom to classroom, grade to grade. Sometimes I'm only there for a few days, sometimes I'm there for months. Since the beginning of the year I've been in a kindergarten room but last week was the end of the line for me. This week I've moved up in the world and made my way to first grade. I kinda feel like Billy Madison. 

But not really.

Anyway, last week we took the kindergartners to the apple orchard. They were beside themselves with excitement. 

Riding on a real school bus?! AHHHHHH!!! 

And a real tractor ride?! BAHHHHHHH!!!

You'd have thought they just won the lottery.

Obviously, we went through the orchard on a tractor. We saw the baby apple trees growing. Then we saw the big trees and learned the correct way to properly pick an apple. This is important so you don't hurt the bud. Then we each got to pick two apples. Count them, TWO! Very exciting stuff. One to snack on and one to take home.

But here's the part that I thought was actually cool.

We got to take a behind the scenes tour of the factory where the apples are processed.

The apples come in to the factory in big crates from the orchard. Then they kind of make their way down a lazy river to get cleaned and sorted.

First up, the crate gets dunked in a big tub of water to start the cleaning. This way the apples float and continue on down the lazy river and the crate comes out empty. If you look close you can see the apples floating under the empty crate on the right.

Next the apples go over a grate. If they're too small they fall through the cracks and get rerouted to a new crate. The little guys are too small to be sold and will be used to make delicious apple cider. Which, I explained to the kids, its like super duper apple juice. Basically, the kind of apple juice that SpiderMan would drink.

The bigger apples continue on into this machine where they are divided into lanes.

They each get their own compartment and go through the buffer to make them nice and shiny.

Once they've been primped and shined they turn a corner and come into the home stretch. Here the nice apple ladies collect them and bag them. Complete bags are put on the top and then come down the slide where the nice man puts them in boxes to be sent to the grocery stores. He also gets to use a really awesome staple gun for the boxes. Actually, that was probably the kid's favorite part of the tour. I probably should have gotten a picture of the stapler. My bad.

So there you go. Your very own tour of the apple factory. Now you have a whole new appreciation for all the work that went into providing you a delicious apple at the store. 

I'm gonna go ahead and check that item off my fall bucket list.

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