Monday, December 16, 2013

The Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice Experience

Florida has been a wonderful place to spend our winter. The weather has been awesome, which means we can spend more time outside… which is a necessity when you’re cramped in a 24’ travel trailer with a 2 year old! I’ve recently shared about the awesome field trips we’ve been taking lately. Today, I have another incredible learning experience to share with you!

We are in the midst of orange picking season here. In fact the RV park that we are staying in is surrounded on 3 sides by an orange grove. They have stationed empty trailers along the roadside this past week to get ready for picking! I can’t wait to take Caleb into the fields to watch the farmers harvest the oranges from the trees!

Recently, we were driving down the road and pulled up to the intersection that is less than a mile from the RV park. As we take the right turn, we see oranges lining the road.  Obviously, a truck overflowing with oranges made a left turn here and accelerated a little too quickly, shedding a few extra oranges. There’s a food vender truck at this corner, so Andy jumped out and asked if they were fair game to collect or if there was a law against it. That might sound silly, but in our rural Georgia homestead, they are very serious about their crops and you could be charged with a felony for picking things. We never thought about picking up the cotton or smashed watermelons that line the roads where we live, so we just wanted to make sure it was legal… It was! In fact, the man in the food vender truck said if we didn’t pick them up, he would have to and he just tosses them. He even gave us some bags to collect them. We were so excited!

 After collecting all the intact oranges and tossing the split ones in the field,  we took off to our original destination. Later that day, we decided to stop at the food vender truck for lunch. He made us hungry talking about his homemade shredded pork. While we were eating (BTW… It was the best pork sandwich I every had!), another truck made the turn a little too quickly and more oranges toppled off the top rolling right over to us. The vender stuck a bag out the window and we gathered up these freebies as well!

That night, Andy had borrowed an old fashion orange juicer from the park manager. It was her father’s… and it did an amazing job! I sliced the oranges in half. Andy placed one half on the manual machine and closed it tight pressing the lever. It was surprising to see how little was actually left on the rind when finished. We explained and shared the experience of each step with Caleb. He was engaged throughout the entire process! We collected the juice in an old container, but before putting it away, we all had a taste test.  It was the yummiest juice we’ve ever had and did I mention it was FREE! You can’t beat that! We hope to get more soon as this juice is disappearing quickly! In fact, we gave the food vender our phone number and asked him to call us any time he’s littered with oranges.  He said this will happen pretty regularly between now and March! 

Roadschooling in Florida has been a great experience. We've been able to present Caleb with many engaging learn opportunities this winter that keep that spark of learning aglow. I know it's December, too often a time of frenzy and chaos, but what have you done lately to ignite your child's love of learning? I'd love to hear about your experiences! Please feel free to share them in the comments!

Learning Blessings to your family,

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