As you may be able to tell, we're not really sticking with chronological these days. With so much to catch up on and not too much happening in January, I figured no one would mind. Now this is not so much a post about something to do in Temecula, but instead something you could easily go and do were you to, say, be a resident of Temecula. In the fall, our Brownie Girl Scout troop and another big girl Girl Scout troop crammed ourselves into a couple of large vehicles and scooted over to Riley's Farm located in Oak Glen, right near Yucaipa. If you peek at their site now, you won't see much about some of the things mentioned in this blog, because it's the wrong time of year (you can't press fresh apples into cider or choose pumpkins from a pumpkin patch in January....not even in Southern California!), but they've got other fun things scheduled that I'm sure everyone will still enjoy.
Our first hands-on learning opportunity was pressing freshly picked apples into cider using a real old timey cider press. It takes 100 apples to make one gallon of cider...didja know that?!?! Or that the difference between apple cider and apple juice is....hmmmm, perhaps I should let you research that one yourself ;)
Then it was off to a little history lesson about the western migration, covered wagons, log cabins, working hard, and doing without:
Now comes my favorite part: hay ride through the woods!
Followed by making our own candles:
(sorry about this lame photo. The gal is passing out long whicks with a tiny starter candle on the end, and the girls proceeded to dip them into the hot wax repeatedly to increase their size. Making a full-sized candle back in the day was a tedious process!)
After a much needed lunch break, it was time to select our very own pumpkins from the pumpkin patch. This is in contrast to most "pumpkin patches" in Temecula itself which have piles of pumpkins available, but none of them are in the spot that they actually grew. The Riley's farm pumpkin patch (it was called something else, but I can't remember now. I'm sure if you can them a ring, they could help you out!) was a patch. Of real pumpkins. Growing on their vines. It was so fun. And check out the gorgeous views!