REED CITY — Mother Nature was hard on apple trees this spring, but that didn’t stop G.T. Norman Elementary School’s kindergarteners from having a great time on their first field trip.

This year, Anderson and Girls Orchard in Stanton only brought in 10 percent of their normal harvest for apples. A wagon ride through the bare apple trees and a quick lesson on apple growth gave the students a clearer understanding of why they weren’t able to pick any fruit this year.

Apple cider production is still in full swing at the farm even though apples are having to be purchased from further south to make it, thus the rising cost to buy the popular fall drink.

The children chugged down their taste of cider quickly as a few bees were hanging around trying to get a sip as well.

Back at the school, the fun apple activities continued with homemade applesauce. Students cleaned and cut apples to be cooked. After simmering about an hour, apples were soft enough for them to push through sieves. Many of them were surprised with the process.

“The applesauce is pink ‘cause we left the skins on,” Hunter Quinn explained as he scraped the sides of the sieve.

They learned that this made the applesauce healthier, leaving more nutrients in it.

As children were scraping their bowls clean, they discovered this healthy treat wasn’t very hard to make and it was delicious too.