The kids and I went on a field trip to a Citrus Historical Park this weekend,hence we are studying citrus for a home school project during the fruits season. I am a home schooling Mama who loves to make themed projects.....so, this week I will be sharing what we did for our study.
This park preserves some of the rapidly vanishing cultural landscape of the citrus industry
and to tell the story of this industry's role in the history and development of California.
The park recaptures the time when "Citrus was King" in California, recognizing the importance
of the citrus industry in southern California.In the early 1900s, an effort to promote citrus ranching in the state brought hundreds of would-be citrus barons to California for the "second Gold Rush." The lush groves of oranges, lemons and grapefruit gave California another legacy - its lingering image as the Golden State - the land of sunshine and opportunity. The design of the park is reminiscent of a 1900s city park, complete with an activity center, interpretive structure, amphitheater, picnic area, and demonstration groves. The land contained within the park still continues to produce high-quality fruits.
Citrus was known in ancient times through ancient cultures of Greeks and later Romans as the sweet orange later appeared in the 1400's around the time of Christopher Columbus who probably even brought the fruit over to America...Years of growth throughout occurred then finally reaching California in the mid 1800's which they called the second Gold Rush! There was more information throughout the museum itself and would probably belabor the point if I wrote it all in.... I will spare you.
Did you know there are over 100 different types of citrus? Wow! The kids and I thought it was interesting to say the least. We had a sweet guide named Roy who gave us all sorts of information on the history. he was a sweet man to take his time to share with us that day.
The museum itself was very nicely displayed and very informative. It really is neat that they wish to preserve this history as well as the orange groves for our children's future and their children for that matter. In case you didn't know by now...We love history anyway...I even learned a lot since I honestly didn't know the history of citrus to begin with.
We had to get a picture of Roy too! Thanks Roy...you were a great guide. At the end of our tour we browsed the little gift shop full of cute things and lot's of items with a citrus themes. We also got to test taste several different oranges, mandarins and some hybrids which college students grafted and made a whole new citrus. i forgot what they were called...It was sweet and juicy though!
We then roamed around and walked a little trail took some pictures of some citrus and this weird citrus in the picture above...It's called a citron...It is a citrus but nothing like the citrus we all know...this had no juicy innards and the shape was quite freaky. Roy told us they are also called some sort of fingers...ewwww!
Okay so this is where the theme comes in...We brought some citrus items and sweets we got from the gift shop and enjoyed them in the park. I lay out a quilt as we feasted on the goodies. Sugar rush! We brought along some cuties and homemade orange brownies which I will share the recipe this week!
I grew up with Lemonheads and Sunkist Gems candies but never saw Orangeheads before. It must be new. Maestro actually said he likes the Lemonheads better. I felt like a kid again...testing all the candies was fun!
I brought along our nature notebooks and supplies to sketch while we hung out in the park. It was a fun time just sitting under a tree lounging on a quilt listening to the birds singing and chatting with my kids. We each did our own picture of oranges...
Maestro is more musical than he draws...which was actually nice to see him join in.
I thought his picture turned out nice.
We then went on a little adventure through the orange groves. I thought it was a bit spooky and cold in there though. i'm glad my kids were with me. I certainly wouldn't roam in an orange grove alone.
Then before we left I took some fun pictures of my kids. They are such goofballs. Look at my son in the picture above...he was all serious (serious geekiness)... Freckles couldn't stop giggling at him and his pose. Oh well, we got a good laugh out of it anyway.