parentsong

Stories and thoughts from day to day life in the Bullard Family

Apple Picking November 12, 2011

Filed under: Activities,Music — parentsong @ 6:23 am
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Making our way well into November, I know apple season is waning, but I thought it would be nice to share some of our favorite apple songs and verses and some of our apple-picking photos. This year we were able to make apple-picking a bigger part of our lives and visit the orchards several times. No apples from the grocery store this fall! And this weekend we’ll head out to the farm for some old-fashioned cider-making!

Song:

Down in the green orchard, there stands a green tree,

With the finest of branches you ever did see!

The apples are ripe, and ready to fall

And here is a basket to gather them all!

Here is the tree with leaves so green,

And here are the branches that hang in between.

When the wind blows, the apples will fall,

And here is a basket to gather them all.

Song:

The leaves are green, the apples are red,

They hang so high above my head.

Leave them alone til frosty weather

They’ll all come tumbling down together.

Two little apples, hanging in a tree.

Two little apples, smiled at me.

I shook that tree as hard as I could,

Down came the apples, Mmmm they were good!

Way up high in the apple tree,

An apple looked down and smiled at me.

I spied that apple so red and round,

And caught it as it tumbled down!

How do you like to enjoy apples? Maybe next year I’ll get to cook with them some more! For now, it is cut and eat- very simple. I think I’ll try a pie, though. We just got a nice mix of winesap, goldrush, and stayman. We’ll see how my swell baking abilities handle it (she says, sarcastically).

Thanks for reading!

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Farm Days: Wheat Threshing November 8, 2011

Filed under: Activities — parentsong @ 6:55 am
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The farm in autumn is so full of fun activities and experiences! One of my favorite things about it is that they use turn of the century farming techniques and equipment.

This trip taught us the process of going from seed to whole grain- something a city girl never got to do before. I thought it was really cool!

Wheat is harvested here using a reaper-binder, a machine that cuts and ties the wheat into bundles (sheaves). The farmers walk behind the reaper and set the sheaves upright, leaning the bunches against one another (called “shocks”). This helps them to dry. After about a week, they are brought in from the fields for storage. Can I get a little Bringing in the Sheaves?

Feature of the Day: Steam Engine

This was the big attraction: the steam engine, or traction engine. What a cool machine! When the steam escaped, it was really loud, but B was still fascinated by it. It powered the thresher, as seen below:

Another shot of the ‘ol traction engine:

Courtesy of Howell Living History Farm

Threshing removes the wheat grain from  the stem of wheat. The wheat stems and chaff are blown up into the barn and later used for animal bedding. The grain is emptied into bags as it leaves the thresher.

I like the farmer on top of the hay

Bags of grain begin collecting on the trailer bed

The grains are so soft and fun to play with. B could not keep her hands out of the bin!

I wish I would have taken a picture of the winnower, a hand-powered machine that separates the chaff, dust, and other debris from the wheat grain. But the next process is grinding the wheat. We even got to sing our grinding song from our autumn circle!

Round and round the wheel goes round. As it turns the wheat is ground…

At the end of our trip, we had tasty wheat muffins baked with the wheat from the farm! We even got to take a bit home with us. This was an extra special trip because we got to enjoy the wheat festivities with some dear friends. That always makes for good times!

Thanks for reading, I hope this updated version comes through! (sort of had a premature publishing of this post- no pics or stories!)

Until next time,

~Erin

 

Farm Days: Popcorn Harvest October 25, 2011

Filed under: Activities — parentsong @ 8:00 am
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During our latest trip to the local historic working farm, we got to learn about popcorn harvesting!

Ears of popcorn were picked in the field to be stored and dried for at least 18 months. The corn we shelled was from a few seasons back. The tiny kernels hold much tighter to the cob than feed corn. Plus, they have rougher edges, making the manual shelling process less than meditative.

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The popcorn was heated in a metal popping box over an open flame. It tasted really popcorny- lots of flavor, and much better than store-bought. Yum!

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And what would popcorn making be without a little song? I modified this traditional rhyme to work as a song. One day I’ll get the recordings up! Probably in five years, knowing my rate of accomplishing anything less than necessary.

Pop pop pop!
Pour the popcorn in the pot.
Pop pop pop!
Take and shake it ’til it’s hot.
Pop pop!
Lift the lid, what have you got?
Pop pop pop pop!
Popcorn!

The pops are loads of fun and great as a fill-in-the-blank if singing with a minimally verbal child. Pop was one of Briony’s first words, thanks to songs!

Happy popping!

 

Autumn Circle Time September 21, 2011

Filed under: Circle Time — parentsong @ 6:24 am
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Image by Greg Fischer

As we move into a new season and now that we have started our “homeschool” preschool, we use this circle 3-4 days per week. Some days we miss because I still have a rather unpredictable baby. I think this circle is a bit challenging for a 2 1/2 year-old, but she enjoys  most of it. Her attention to the circle comes and goes, but I think as she learns the verses and songs a bit more, she will get more into it.

Opening verse:

The earth is firm beneath my feet, the sun shines bright above

And here stand I so straight and strong, all things to know and love.

Verse: An Autumn Greeting

Come, said the wind to the leaves one day.

Over the meadow and we will play.

Put on your dresses of red and gold.

For summer is gone and the days grow cold.

 

Song*:

Autumn has come to the county and town,

Wearing its garment of golden and brown.

Apples she brings us so round and so red,

Brings us our corn that we bake into bread.

Chant:

Round and round the wheel goes round. As it turns the corn is ground.

Verse with motions: Here is the Tree

Here is the tree with leaves so green. Here are the apples that hang between.

When the wind blows, the apples will fall. Here is a basket to gather them all.

Song*: The Leaves are Green

1. The leaves are green, the apples are red. They hang so high above my head.

Leave them alone til frosty weather, they’ll all come tumbling down together.

2. The leaves are green the nuts are brown. They hang so high they won’t come down.

Leave them alone til frosty weather and they will all fall down together.

Movement: Stretch Me

Stretch me! Stretch me! Stretch me high!
Stretch me up to the big blue sky! (on tip toes)
Stretch me! Stretch me! Stretch me over! (stretch to one side)
Stretch me! Stretch me! Stretch me over! (stretch to other side)
Stretch me! Stretch me! Stretch me over! (stretch to front)

Roll me around! Roll me around! Roll me around!
Till I¹m sitting in clover! (rolling hands)
Rolling in clover! Rolling in clover! Rolling in clover!
Over and over! (hold knees and rock around on the floor)
Nell Smyth, The Breathing Circle p. 26

Song*: Bumblebee, Butterfly, Spider and the Beetle

  1. Bumblebee and butterfly, Spider and the beetle,

Come around and dance with us, In winds before the winter.

  1. Bumblebee of summertime, Do once more your best,

Hum around and dance with us, Before your winter’s rest.

  1. Butterfly of summertime, Do once more your best,

Flutter around and dance with us, before your winter’s rest.

  1. Spider of the summertime, Do once more your best,

Creep around and dance with us, Before your winter’s rest.

  1. Beetle of the summertime, Do once more your best,

Plod around and dance with us, Before your winter’s rest.

  1. Bumblebee and butterfly, Spider and the beetle,

Come now to your Mother Earth, and Rest there for the winter.

Finger play: On My Head

On my head my hands I place

On my Shoulders, On my face

On my hips and by my side

Then behind me they will hide

I can hold them up so high

See my fingers swiftly fly

I place them right in front of me

Then I’ll clap them, one, two, three

Closing verse*:

Down is the earth

Up is the sky

There are my friends

And here am I

 

* From Autumn by Jennifer Aulie