Yesterday Mrs. Powley’s newest 2nd grade class made their annual visit to our farm. Mrs. Powley brings her kids to tour the farm and work on a planting project each year and Chris, M’lissa and I always look forward to their visit!
The first stop when they arrived was to take everyone’s picture with our family of scare crows. Here are all the girls.
The boys did a great job of getting their picture taken with the scare crows too.
We went inside the “Basil House” (which is the name we call this particuliar greenhouse because the basil grows in this house) and the kids were given the task to find 4 different herbs using their noses. They were looking for a pizza herb (rosemary), a chewing gum herb (peppermint or spearmint), an herb that smelled like an old grandma’s perfume (lavender) and an herb that smelled like a lemon lolipop (lemon verbena). The kids searched through all the benches of plants throughout the greenhouse and found every one of the four herbs they were looking for just by smelling them. It was great fun!
Chris showed the kids some of the crops in our flower seed crop field. They got to take an up close and personal look at how plants produce seed. We found different kinds of seed pods and seeds all through the flower field.
We also had a careful look into the farm’s irrigation pond. The kids were quite excited to see several bull frogs, a lot of little fish, and they even saw the red earred slider turtle poke his head out of the water in the middle of the pond to take a look at all the kids standing there looking at him! We talked about how important water is for growing plants and how important it is to be very careful not to waste precious water. They were able to see from the pond banks being so low just how little water we have this year and how a drought affects life on a farm.
We also talked quite a bit about how good wild animals can be for a farm and how Chris and I welcome wildlife here on our farm. The kids already knew that wild birds are very good at catching bugs and that they would be helpful to us on the farm by eating all the bad pest insects that come here. We talked about how important it is to have fresh water for wild birds and other wild animals. They were able to see that we have bird baths here, and we also have a deer drinking trough with a bird ladder in it so that the little tiny birds do not fall in and drown.
It was a very special day, filled with a lot of excitement. Before the kids left they had time to clean some vermont cranberry beans from their pods and then plant a bean in a pot to take home to grow. They also took home the extra beans from their bean pod so that they can save them and plant them in their gardens next spring. In addition they were each given a peppermint plant to take home. We talked about how they could pick some leaves off their peppermint plant and chop them up and put them on top of some ice cream or fruit salad to make it taste extra good. These kids were super!
One of the things Chris and I feel is so important is for us to give back to our community by inviting the school children (of all ages) of Fremont County, not just Canon City, but also Florence, Penrose, and all our neighboring towns, to schedule a time to visit the farm with their teachers as a class.
We have any number of topics we can give them a hands-on experience here from growing organic gardens to solar energy, the cycles of insects, animals and plants, and so on. We tailor the farm visit according to what the class is studying in school at that time and no matter if they are wee little kindergarteners or high schoolers, we have something here they can learn about. We have even been known to give greenhouse cooking classes to middle school kids. It’s always fun! The kids visit the farm at no cost and we make sure they always go home with a plant for their garden or to grow indoors.
If you are a school teacher and would like to schedule a time for your class to visit our farm, please do get in touch with us. We schedule school farm tours from end of June through end of January. Unfortunately, we cannot have school kids visit during our spring season because the farm is too busy at that time, but other times of the year are available.
Well, I guess that is all for now.
With Green Thoughts,