Sunday, September 29, 2013

Feild Trip: Mason Bees

Cocoa Green Market
Sept 27th 2013
We started off with a short educational video of different types of insects that help our gardens and wild plants.
The kids learned mainly about Bees and how they gather Pollen from plant to plant.  Kids also learned some main identifying traits of bees, butterflies, moths, flies, beetles, stink bugs etc.
Next we went outside to explore the garden looking at all the different types of bugs in the garden.
While outside the kids and adults got to learn about native Florida plants and how to keep our Gardens full of life (Bug life).  As the kids found Insects our guide would come and collect it into a collector so the kids could see the insect up close but the insect was safe. Insect is only inspected for a minute or two and placed back where they were. 
 Found some caterpillars and a few cystitis, stink bugs, bees of different types, lady bugs to name a few.
After the garden we were shown a Mason Bee house and told how to build one.  Now we are in the search of a nice piece of wood to build a house with to put into our garden.
The neat thing is each hole can can fit at least 5 baby bees.  As the babies are ready they come out 1 at a time with the front being the first out (last one in) male bee.  The first egg laid will be the last bee out and the bee will the a SHE.
Did you know that 55% of all insects are female??  So next time your calling a bug a gender say SHE, your more likely to be right.

We ended our trip with exploring the farm and looking at the cows, goats, European Honey Bee hive, lots of Chickens  and some fresh Pumpkin Ice cream.

If your in the area this is a great farm to visit and try some yummy treats in the store

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Back to School Bash -Coco Key

Back to School Bash
August 30th 2013
Last Day to be eight!

K had a blast at Coco Key!  Proud moment - K who is scared of most things until he rides something a few times marched up the stairs and rode lots of tube rides by himself and with friends.  He's matured so much in the last year.  So proud of his growth this last year and cant wait to see what the 3rd grade brings.

                                  Hope everyone is off to a great start of the year

Monday, September 9, 2013

Field Trip: Chocolate Kingdom 8/22/2013

Orlando, Florida
How the Cacao bean turns into the chocolate that we have grown to LOVE
Join us with our photos
Here we are learning about the cacao bean and how it grows near the equator.  The Pod takes years to be ripe and its heavy when its ready to be picked off the tree.  

We got to sample the Cacao bean at its dry stage with a sugar coating.  Didn't get K's face when trying it out but he ended up liking it more than I did.  I have to admit I did spit mine out!  Bitter!
Here we are talking about the process of drying the beans and how they use to make the cacao powder.

Here we are learning about the history behind the Cacao. Cacao used to be used as money.  Umm, that was some yummy money.
Sampling an ancient recipe of hot Chocolate and learning how they use to make the Hot Chocolate to make it all frothy.  Glad we have gadgets that make the job so much easier today!

Chocolate river and a Marshmallow game.  K Love this!

This was my favorite area.  We got to see how the Cacao bean went through a machine to get the Nibs which is what you make the Chocolate with.

Here we are given samples of each type of Chocolate where we get to savor all the different flavors.

K ordered a Milk Chocolate bar with Marshmallows and M&M's, I got Milk Chocolate with Marshmallows and Carmel.  YUM!  Their Chocolate was GOOD!  I am a Chocolate snob liking European Chocolate so much that I am known to Order a good batch once a year for Christmas.  Just saying it's pretty darn good

The Cacao trees growing at Chocolate Kingdom
Great Info on Cacao

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