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The Nature Place Day Camp - May Dirt
"It is time. The summer was very big.
Lay thy shadow on the sundials, and on the meadows let the winds go loose. Command the last fruits that they shall be full; give them another two more southerly days, press them on to fulfillment and drive the last sweetness into the heavenly wine."

Rainer Maria Rilke

Early Bird Enrollment

This red-tailed hawk knows how to spot an opportunity, and you too can strike while the iron's hot, pounce while the mice are out, and get the worm while it's still early. 

Enrolling for summer 2015 as an early bird means you save 10% off the regular price of enrollment by paying in full before October 1st. Early bird enrollment forms can be downloaded here, and are also available on the camp enrollment tab of our website. Happy worm hunting!

Bergen/Rockland Early Bird Enrollment Form
YC Early Bird Enrollment Form
estchester Early Bird Enrollment Form

Ed's Corner

Bang! Clunk! 
When I hear these sporadic and loud sounds on my outside deck I know, 1. that the oak trees are beginning to drop their acorns, and, 2. it's time to get the apple press out because the apples are ready now just as the acorns are. The apple and the acorn are both fruits, that is, they developed from flowers and contain a seed or seeds that can grow into new trees. But it's the fruit from the apple tree that I will seek - the apple.
As I lug the press out of storage in the barn it feels good that cider making marks for me the changing seasons and allows me to connect with and participate in the year's progression. I want to be more than a bystander as the earth revolves around the sun. I feel as if it is a celebration of sorts, a ritual, an anchor to fall, something dependable that also ties me to the past. Why do I do it? Because a year of seasons has passed and now its fall, again, and time for cidering. 

Photo by Fernando Lopez
And the cider is delicious! I like to use a variety of apples and press them all together. The amber liquid that gushes from the bottom of the press into our waiting pot seems happy to have been released from it's former apple homes. Do you know that if you sip your cider slowly you'll be able to taste fall, winter, spring and summer, for it takes 4 seasons to make an apple. You might even taste the rain from the storm that fell on the orchard last July.

Read more Ed's Corner: Johnny Appleseed, neat apple info

Upcoming Autumn Events

During this fall season our events are all about (you guessed it) pressing apples into cider. We'll be doing this at a few different locations, so be sure to stop by, say hello, and take a sip of the season's bounty. 

Hungry Hollow Co-op's 20th Annual Farmer's Festival 
Saturday, September 27th, 11 am - 4 pm

Join us at the Hungry Hollow Co-op's 20th Annual Farmers Festival, featuring hayrides, local food, and live music all day. Local grass-fed beef burgers (and more) on the grill, organic cider pressing (that's us!), children's activities, demonstrations, gardening and farming books, bake sale, samplings & tastings, and lots more. Admission and activites at this event are free. 

841 Chestnut Ridge Road, Chestnut Ridge, NY 10977

Green Meadow Waldorf School's Fall Fair
Saturday, October 11th, 10 am - 5 pm

Continue or create a family tradition, surrounded by Green Meadow's beautiful fall foliage. Candle dipping, tree climbing, hayride, pumpkin carving, puppet shows, face painting, cider press (that's us, again!), plus fabulous vendors of one-of-a-kind handmade items; caramel apples; live music; and organic food on the grill.

307 Hungry Hollow Road, Chestnut Ridge, NY 10977

Nature Place Open House and Cider Pressing Public Program
Saturday, November 1st, Cider from Noon - 1 pm, Open House 1 - 4 pm

Join The Nature Place Day Camp for our very own cider pressing public program: apples through the ages, an appearance from Johnny Appleseed (complete with his tin pot hat), and plenty of apples to grind and then press into fresh cider. Come by for a fun program and fill your cup with some sumptuous cider.

After pressing cider, stick around for our autumn open house to learn more about The Nature Place. We'll take you on a tour of camp, view photos from summers past, and answer any questions you might have. Families can stop by our open house any time between 1 and 4 pm. 

307 Hungry Hollow Road, Chestnut Ridge, NY 10977
Wild and Edible Crabapples
Paul Tappenden shows us what's seasonally wild and edible in our area:

It seems that everywhere I've been lately, I've come across trees covered in ripe crabapples. I've been taking advantage of this abundance and have gathered bagsful. Nowadays folks rarely seem to make use of this amazing fruit, yet it has been revered by different cultures for centuries. The Anglo-Saxons regarded it as a sacred herb which they used in their Nine Herbs Charm, which had the reputation of curing almost any ailment, as well as driving away evil spirits.


Read about making crabapple butter and crabapple rugelach

Night Noises
Just as winter turning to spring brings sap flowing through maple trees, this liminal season of summer turning to fall, close to the autumn equinox, has it's own special offering: the clicks, chirps, whirs and buzzings of an orchestra of nighttime insects. 

Stand outside in your yard, in a park, or somewhere with grass and trees soon after it gets dark. You will hear a plethora of pitches, rhythms, back-and-forths, and multi-sized notes, tones, and patterned tunes. 

Field crickets, tree crickets, katydids, and other variations of the order Orthoptera are making their last-gasp attempts to mate before the cold sets in. Sounding like a slew of noisy percussionists, it's hard to miss them. 

This conglomerate of evening sounds can create a disorienting field of tones and patterns, and picking out individual chirps can sometimes be challenging. I've heard low, constant thrums, high, intermittent scree-screeching, clicks, like wooden mallets, that build and then subside, and on top of this base, the melodic to and fro of katydids singing that katydid, katydidn't, katydid, katydidn't.

You can increase the aural hallucinatory effect these insect noises can generate by slowly turning, ears wide open, a full 360 degrees. Besides changing the pitches and tones you hear by moving horizontally, notice the different sounds that happen vertically - buzzing from the grass at your feet, sounds emitting from ear level, and then different noises coming from above. 

Upcoming Open House & Program

Saturday, November 1st
  • Apple Cider: Noon-1 pm
  • Open House: 1-4 pm

All open houses take place at the Green Meadow Waldorf School: 307 Hungry Hollow Road. Stop by anytime between 1-4pm.

Non-competitive and nature-oriented, The Nature Place enables children to be themselves, with their friends, in the great outdoors. Learn more at
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