Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall! Four breathtaking seasons that provide the perfect backdrop for the Farms For City Kids students to experience firsthand the wonders of hands-on learning that accompany each season: preparation . . . rebirth . . . growth . . . and harvest!
LATE WINTER/EARLY SPRING
Our first academic lesson of the year, sugaring, also represents our first harvest of the year. With the student’s help, maple sap is collected and the kids remain a part of this process until our pure maple syrup is canned and bottled. But the best part is when the kids use the fresh maple syrup on their breakfast pancakes, waffles and many other foods.
March snow is also the perfect opportunity to teach children about snow shoeing and tracking. They learn to display their observation skills, refer to identifying journals and make conclusions from their findings. Tracks indicate animal species and, from their presence, educated guesses can be made about the health of the land, its habitat as well as the presence of what animals live with and around us.
MID TO LATE SPRING
The snow melts and gives way to the fresh scent of earth awakening . . . Spring is here!
In the garden the students help plan where the seeds and plants will go. Once they are planted, the daily chores of watering and weeding begin. And the garden is the perfect place to talk about pollination as the honey bees buzz from flower to flower.
Spring is also an exciting learning opportunity for the kids as they groom and move the animals from the winter barns to the spring pastures.
The heat of the Summer also brings many exciting and delicious harvests:
One very important harvest is hay! The cows eat thousands of hay bales annually. Our student farmers learn firsthand how the manure they clean from the dairy barn goes to the hay fields as fertilizer, providing nutrients to help the grasses grow lush and full.
Our students also help harvest all sorts of vegetables including sweet corn, peas, tomatoes and potatoes. The greenhouse, raspberry and blueberry picking and grapevines keep the kids busy. And they see it all come together at our own farmers market. Oh, and we can’t forget the pond exploration where the kids get to say hello to the frogs and other interesting species.
Fall is the time to put the Farm to bed for the winter.
One of the most fascinating activities is bringing the animals in from their summer pastures and, with the kids help, the animals are corralled into their winter home – the barn!
And the best reward during this time of year is when the kids go apple picking, help with the cider pressing and harvest one of the Farm’s last crops – picking pumpkins!!.