Harvesting family fun

Published 1:28 pm Thursday, October 23, 2008

It had been more than 50 years since I’d been on a hayride until I climbed into a wagon last week with a group of K-Springs pre-schoolers.

Pulled by a tractor, the wagon bumped along a narrow, dirt road through thick woods, past fields already harvested, until it came to the Pumpkin Patch.

Some of the youngsters set out right away to find just the right pumpkin for their Halloween jack-o‘-laterns. Others stood gazing about, seemingly overwhelmed by such a momentous task in such a large field.

Eventually, everyone selected and pulled a pumpkin from the vine. Names were written with a felt–tip marker and piled in boxes to be picked up on our way out.

We headed for the barn and sack lunches in the hayloft before making our way to the cotton field. After a simple lesson on the many uses of cotton in our everyday lives, the kids were allowed to help harvest the cotton.

“You may put the first handful in your pocket to take home with you,” our guide told the children. “But what you pick after that you should put in the big, cotton basket. Then it will be baled and sent to be made into fabric. And next year, you might be wearing a shirt that was made with cotton that you picked.”

The 3-and 4-year-olds also enjoyed petting animals and making their way through the hay maze.

“The most fun part was finding Ms. Mickey,” one little girl said, indicating their teacher who was waiting for them at the end of the maze.

But most of the youngsters agreed with the little boy who said, “The best part was picking a pumpkin off the vine.”

As for this great–grandma, I thought being able to sit down for the ride back to the barn in the hay wagon was pretty neat.