Harvest Festival

FullSizeRender (2)FullSizeRender (3)FullSizeRender (4)FullSizeRender (5)FullSizeRender (6)FullSizeRender (1)What a wonderful gathering of neighbors and family we had for the Harvest Festival! We were blessed with pleasant autumnal weather. All morning, children and teachers cut the vegetables and stirred the steaming pot. There was onion, garlic, swiss chard, kale, rainbow corn, beets, tiny eggplant, pepper, red cabbage, purple green beans, butternut squash, and carrot. We added the beans that we shelled as well as mushrooms that we harvested carefully the day before. Thyme and basil added aroma and the homemade miso was stirred in at the end for taste.

While the soup was cooling, we had a lovely circle to sing an autumn song as well as play the children's favorite game of Duck Duck Goose. We introduced our names, and neighbors were given special thanks for sharing their garden that children can explore throughout the seasons. It is so wonderful to see the faces of families and the neighbors who were connected with the children. I imagine the children often talk about the neighbors who they met on our walk to the family members. Harvest Festival gives a chance for us to be acquainted with each other in the beginning of the school year.

Speaking of the new school year, so much has happened in the preschool community already. One whole human being was born to one of the families. We admired the two weeks old baby that joined us on a special day.

We enjoyed the Harvest Soup and wonderful dishes that families brought. One young adult guest that joined us was from Florida who after Hurricane Irma was able to purchase enough gasoline to drive to North Carolina. We send our thoughts to those affected by the hurricane. I felt humble just to be able to enjoy the ordinary day.

Wishing everyone a wonderful autumn and closing with Harvest Blessings:

The earth who gives to us this food The sun who makes it ripe and good                                                 The sun above and the earth below To you our loving thanks we show




Lantern Walk and Martinmas

On November 13th, we celebrated Martinmas with story told by Sherry Lovett and a cold but lovely lantern walk. Opal's parents, Jona and Gretchen had hosted us for the evening. We were treated by a warm campfire and hot apple cider pressed from their own apple trees. The temperature dropped into low 30s or maybe even in high 20s. After the story we lit our handmade lanterns and sang songs. Vera wanted to sing all the songs we sing at preschool. Cosmo requested "This Little Light of Mine". We walked around their neighborhood singing "I Go with My Little Lantern", "Red and Yellow, Green and Blue", "Saint Martin" and "Glimmer Lantern, Glimmer". I think it was parents that wanted to turn around and go back because they were getting cold (maybe not dressed quite right for the weather). I stood by the wood stove and rotated my body and felt grateful for the warmth it provided. Thank you for the delicious soup everyone! Thank you Jona and Gretchen for being such gracious hosts. Saint Martin song.

St. Martin, St. Martin, St. Martin rode out in the night.

His cape was warm, his heart was light.

St. Martin, St. Martin, St. Martin saw a beggar man there in the snow with little on.

"Oh, help me please or I must freeze, Oh help me please or I must freeze"

St. Martin, St. Martin, St. Martin sprang down from his horse.

His halved his cape with his great sword.

St. Martin rode off in the storm, the beggar man was safe and warm.











Applesauce Making

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This year, we are blessed with good harvest of apples. I cooked the apples and brought them to the preschool. We assembled the applesauce maker together. Vera inserted a spiral piece that turns to send the apples down to get the applesauce separated from the skin and the seeds. I put the gasket around the filter which fits onto the shaft. Vera tightened the two butterfly shaped screws. Opal matched up the square hole of the handle to fit on the end of the axle. Cosmo put a big funnel on top to place the cooked apple in. Now we were all ready! We took turns cranking the handle and plunging apples into the funnel opening.  Singing the taking turn song is always helpful. Cosmo said, "It's coming down the shoot!" as the first thick warm pink half translucent applesauce slid down the flat metal piece down to the dish. The room was full of sweet apple smell. Cosmo washed all the parts of the applesauce maker and the pot! He switched to a smaller brush to wash the narrow end of a funnel. He said. "Toothbrush, finished one will be good (for washing metal mesh)". We had a lovely circle time. We sang apple tree song and poem.

This is a trunk I'm a tall tall tree In the autumn apples hang on me They drop They drop

Here is a tree with leaves so green, Here are the apples that hang in between. When the wind blows, the apples will fall. Here is a basket to gather them all.

We enjoyed the warm apple sauce in our cup!

Digging Potatoes

On our third day back to preschool, things started to settle and children seemed calm (maybe teachers too?). We had a beautiful walk through trails of rhododendron arcade. We started to hear a tractor. When we got to the field by the Tibbits, we saw Gold Finch Garden crew. Ben saw us and said, "Want to come and dig potatoes?" We said "Yeah!". We got ourselves all covered with dirt. Ginger said "dirt" and kept bringing me a clump of dirt. These potatoes are not ordinary potatoes you see at a grocery store. They were purple and pink! Ben cut one in half to show us a dark blue-purple color inside (pink one is also pink inside!). It was like a treasure hunt to find potatoes buried in the dirt. We sang "One Potato, Two Potato" as we dug. Some of us took it very seriously while others just sat and enjoyed playing in the dirt. When Ben found a mole, he held the poor guy who was trying to dig back into the dirt and let us touch it. It was hard to see his face and his strong front feet because he will not be still. Theo was so excited to touch the mole. Annelise was not so sure. Cosmo and Vera had each chosen a potato. They carried them wrapped in their T-shirt like a baby in a cradle. We stopped by Becky's creek to wash some dirt off, and to cool down. Cosmo and Vera tenderly washed their potatoes which turned bright purple. Next day, we made mashed potato for the morning project. They looked purple! We added milk from Camp Celo and home made butter. Yum! We were blessed with the unexpected potato digging!

We made mashed potato out of purple potatoes that we helped dig yesterday with Ben


mashed potato making process

Beginning of school year- poem

Fresh acorn fell on my head

Now I see they are more scattered ahead

A sign of Fall

As the Joe Pye Weed grow tall

And the morning casino games online air feels soft yet crispy on my cheek

I skip over the bubbling creek

Hello there acorn, your hat is too big for your size

It"s covering your eyes

Let me help you so we can gather

Small and whimsical treasures together