Johnny Appleseed Day in Blairsville, Georgia
The Georgia Mountain Research and Education Center, located in Blairsville, Georgia, held their annual Johnny Appleseed Field Trip Day for Union County kindergarten classes on September 9, 2005. It was an exciting field trip for everyone involved. The weather was perfect, the mountain view was gorgeous, and the children learned a lot.
Community members explained all kinds of thing about apples. They told how apples are important to the local economy and asked the small children, "How do apples grow?" This led to discussions about seeds, bee pollination, and root systems. One kindergarten group had a song prepared. "One little, two little, three little apples," sang the sweet voices.
Everyone got to tour the orchards in a wagon pulled by a big tractor. The volunteer members of the Education Committee helped the children pick apples to take back to class. Each class received a bushel of free apples, charts, and a poster illustrating different types of apples.
The highlight of the trip was when Johnny Appleseed appeared out of the orchard. The children's eyes were wide open with amazement. "There he is! Here comes Johnny Appleseed." He was a sight to behold. With a big cooking pot for a hat, barefooted, and clasping his Bible to his chest, Johnny Appleseed entertained the little kids with stories and questions, "What can we make out of apples?" Answers ranged from apple sauce to apple doughnuts. "That's right." said Appleseed. "And apple pies!" cried out one eager child.
The Johnny Appleseed Character is played by Rev. Eddie Herring of First United Methodist Church in Union County. He enjoys dressing up and entertaining the children, and says, "Thankfully I haven't stepped on any bees."
The Apple Field Trips have been going on for 9 years in Union County. The last two years, other counties have also participated (Towns and Fannin Counties had their field trip on September 14). The event is sponsored by the Education Committee of the Community Council for the Georgia Mountain Research and Education Center. Special thanks to Joe Garner, Superintendent of the GMRE Center, for a wonderful day.