The Rose Garden families gathered at Henley’s Orchard on a glorious September morning. Tim and Sarah Henley have been graciously hosting the Rose Garden for several years. Their orchard has been family owned for generations, and now their children (one of whom Sharifa taught in kindergarten) are joining in the operations. The Henley’s are a low-spray orchard at the foot of the Blue Ridge mountains in Crozet, Virginia.
The children filled their bags with Jonagold apples that were almost as big as their heads!
When their bags were full the children brought their apples to the basket and tub until those were overflowing with deliciousness. We are currently polishing, peeling, coring and slicing those apples to turn them into the apple butter that we will eat on our cornbread throughout the year.
Once our bags and baskets were so full that no more would fit we gathered to share our circle with the parents. The children have been learning verses, songs and games in the first weeks of school. We had so much fun playing with the parents and grandparents!
And then we shared a delicious snack of apples and rice cakes with sunflower butter. I had been so busy picking, playing and serving that when I finally took my first bite of an apple the burst of sweet sunshine and love in that fruit was a pleasant shock!
I know that in the deepest darkness of the winter the starlight from the round red house with no door, no windows with a chimney on top will warm our tummies with memories of this day.