Sadly, in Michigan this fall, there is a terrible apple shortage, something to the tune of $1 billion dollars in lost revenue. Normally every fall there are school trips to the apple orchard, but not this fall. Instead we had a trip to the pumpkin patch today with my daughter Racquel’s preschool class.
On this crisp fall morning we started out with a hayride back to the pumpkin patch. My husband had the day off of work so he was along for the ride also. Sixteen four year olds, 2 teachers, moms, dads and various siblings all boarded the hay wagons and were driven back to the pumpkin patch by good old “Betsy” the tractor. The kids got the ride started by encouraging Betsy by saying “1,2,3,…c’mon Betsy” and away we went bouncing through the apple-less orchards and raspberry bushes on the way to find our pumpkins. We were dropped off in a patch of smallish pumpkins so that the kids could easily carry their chosen pumpkins. The search was fun, looking for just the perfect one, not too round, not a speck of green, perfect brown “handle”. We immediately headed out and found our pumpkins in a matter of 2 minutes. Racquel put them in the bags we were given and started eyeing what the other kids had chosen. After everyone had their pick of the field, we were back on the hay wagon and heading towards the playground and pavilion for apple cider and donuts.
Now if you have never had cider mill donuts…you’ve been missing out!!! They are the BEST! Freshly made, covered in cinnamon sugar, powdered sugar or just plain…amazing doesn’t even begin to describe them! The smell is just glorious and cries out “fall has arrived”!
Each child had a cup of cider and a donut and then off they went to the playground and petting zoo. There was a huge wooden pirate ship to climb aboard, built in tunnel slides, tricycle racetrack, junior zip-lining, a corn barn and so much more. We took our one year old Leightyn over to the petting zoo and she loved watching the goats climb a wooden bridge to beg for food. Racquel had fun on everything and eventually had to be bribed with additional donuts in order for us to leave without a scene. Everyone had a great morning including mom who had never actually set foot on a pumpkin patch before today. Now I’m off to enjoy another donut…shhh don’t tell the kids, it’s our little secret!