Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Apples, Apples and More Apples

We are getting ready for what should be the greatest field trip yet. We are heading over to Greenbluff, WA this weekend to see what a Family Farm/Orchard looks like. Greenbluff is an area North of Spokane, WA where families have farmed the land for years. They are a community of Family owned Farms who have agreed to be a community of Farmer Markets. Anyone who lives over around there knows about Greenbluff. This is where I use to always go to get all my fruit and vegetables when my older children were at home. We would can upwards towards 50 jars of fresh fruit, jams, applesauce and pickles every year. We also froze all our vegetables for the year. This trip is also special because we are meeting up with Selena's brothers so the three of them can enjoy the fun of Harvest time in Greenbluff. The farm in particular that we are going to is Walters' Fruit Ranch.

In preparation for our trip I wanted to do a quick unit on Apples. I found these cute templates on line, sorry I don't remember where, and printed them off. They easily folded into nice little booklets. Using this site, along with a few other resources, we began putting our books together. I would read the description of each apple, and Selena had to color it. Then we learned something about each apple which was written inside, we also checked to see if each apple was grown on Walters' Fruit Farm. We will put all our books together with a ring, and Selena can take them with her.

Today I wanted to do a bit more with the apples, so we went to the store and bought 3 of the different apples we had studied. We chose Red Delicious, Golden Delicious and Rome Beauty. Selena found it interesting that according to the information we learned that the Golden Delicious Apple did not turn brown when cut. I on the other hand found it interesting when they stated it was the BEST apple for baking and cooking. We were on a mission 1. for Selena to find out if it was true that the Golden Delicious would indeed not turn brown, and 2. I wanted to determine if their statement of it being the BEST apple for baking or cooking was a true statement, (first of all I use any apple I get my hand on to make applesauce or pie.)

Of course I wanted to get as much out of this experiment as I could, so I had Selena choose a few different items from the kitchen that we might use when cooking or baking apples. She chose baking soda, (I would have chosen salt, but remember this is about her mostly), vinegar, and lemon juice. We also had plain water, as well as plates for just slices of apples. Now before I go any further, I will say the vinegar and lemon juice was watered down, since I didn't have large quantities on hand, if I was to do this again I would not dilute them.

The first thing we did was to taste each apple. Selena announced that they all tasted good, some had a little harder texture, and a little more tart taste, but she loved them all. We also made our hypothesis on what each apple would do in the different situations.

I then sliced a piece of each apple to put in our cups and bowls of plain water, and plates. To keep track of what each type apple each slice was we placed our little booklets in front of the experiment, so we knew for sure.

Our observations after 15 minutes (with Selena's hypothesis)

Vinegar: Selena decided none of the apples would turn brown.
Results: Red Delicious has started to turn brown. Golden Delicious and Rome Beauty did not turn brown.
Lemon Juice: Selena decided None will turn brown.
Results: None turned brown.
Baking Soda: Selena decided None will turn brown.
Results: All were turning brown.
Water: Selena decided both Red Delicious and Rome Beauties would turn brown, the Golden Delicious would not.
Result: They were all starting to turn brown with the Red Delicious being more brown then the rest.
Slices on the plates, in the air: Selena decided Red Delicious and Rome Beauties would turn brown and Golden Delicious would not.
Result: Red Delicious and Rome Beauties turned brown, Golden Delicious did not again Red Delicious turned more brown then the rest.

At this point Selena got distracted, so our apples ended up sitting for an hour. What distracted her? Someone came up to clean the horse stalls, she had to go see if she could help.

Basically the results were, Vinegar all turned a slight brown. Lemon Juice, none turned brown. Baking Soda, they all were brown but the Rome Beauties was very brown. Water, Red Delicious was very brown, the other two slightly brown. Slices on the plates, were all brown with the Red Delicious the most brown.

While I can not dismiss the statement that the Golden Apples are great for baking and cooking, I feel strongly it depends upon what you are making, any apple will make great apple sauce. A firmer apple then the Red Delicious is better for apple pie, but you know what I will still use what ever apple I get my hands on to bake or cook with.

Sure I took lots of pictures of our results, but truly apples are apples, and yes, all apples under the right conditions will eventually turn brown when they are sliced. I guess you know that we will probably give you a good picture overload when we come home from our field trip, so look for that post the first of next week.

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