Spring Farm Sprouts 2018 – Week #8 Wednesday PM

We concluded a beautiful spring season by sharing memories with the support of our Wonder Wall, creating a mural to represent our big question of inquiry, “How does a garden grow?,” exploring the farm and pond area, and welcoming families to join us for a wagon ride around the farm. Where once there were blossoms on the trees, now we discover tasty fruit. We find ourselves saying goodbye to each other, for now, and to the passing season as we move into summer. The blossoms will surely return just as we hope to see those growing out of the program back for visits and many we’ll see back in the fall to see what comes of our growing apples and sunflowers. Farm Sprouts will forever remain a part of our farm community, by what they learned from their experiences and what they gave to the land and the creatures who call it home, from the tiny insects in the pond and the playful goat kids in the barn to the towering sugar maples in the forest. We are all a part of the tapestry that is being created at Tollgate Farm.

Thank you to our Sustainable Agriculture team for collaborating with us this spring and contributing their time, energy, and delicious produce to our program! The impact of knowing and working with the farmers who grow our food is tremendous. The kale grown for our “Sunflower Kale Smoothies” came from the program. They offer a C.S.A. program which offers shares of the produce they grow to the community.

Sunflower Kale Smoothies

1 cup frozen berries
1 frozen banana
1 cup chopped kale
2 Tbs. sunflower seeds (or sunflower seed spread)
1 Tbs. honey
1 cup coconut water

We enjoyed our smoothies on the pond deck with the story, The Flowers Are Calling by Rita Gray.

Many thanks to Roy Prentice, Norb Leppanen, Joe Mitts, and Nicole Simmons for their support with operations and animals. They are essential to making this program and all of our educational programs possible. They go above and beyond to support us. Their dedication, energy, and passion is greatly appreciated!

“Nature uses only the longest threads to weave her patterns, so each small piece of her fabric reveals the organization of the entire tapestry.” – Richard P. Feynman

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Spring Farm Sprouts 2018 – Week #8 Wednesday AM

We concluded a beautiful spring season by sharing memories with the support of our Wonder Wall, creating a mural to represent our big question of inquiry, “How does a garden grow?,” exploring the farm and pond area, and welcoming families to join us for a wagon ride around the farm. Where once there were blossoms on the trees, now we discover tasty fruit. We find ourselves saying goodbye to each other, for now, and to the passing season as we move into summer. The blossoms will surely return just as we hope to see those growing out of the program back for visits and many we’ll see back in the fall to see what comes of our growing apples and sunflowers. Farm Sprouts will forever remain a part of our farm community, by what they learned from their experiences and what they gave to the land and the creatures who call it home, from the tiny insects in the pond and the playful goat kids in the barn to the towering sugar maples in the forest. We are all a part of the tapestry that is being created at Tollgate Farm.

Thank you to our Sustainable Agriculture team for collaborating with us this spring and contributing their time, energy, and delicious produce to our program! The impact of knowing and working with the farmers who grow our food is tremendous. The kale grown for our “Sunflower Kale Smoothies” came from the program. They offer a C.S.A. program which offers shares of the produce they grow to the community.

Sunflower Kale Smoothies

1 cup frozen berries
1 frozen banana
1 cup chopped kale
2 Tbs. sunflower seeds (or sunflower seed spread)
1 Tbs. honey
1 cup coconut water

We enjoyed our smoothies on the pond deck with the story, The Flowers Are Calling by Rita Gray.

Many thanks to Roy Prentice, Norb Leppanen, Joe Mitts, and Nicole Simmons for their support with operations and animals. They are essential to making this program and all of our educational programs possible. They go above and beyond to support us. Their dedication, energy, and passion is greatly appreciated!

“Nature uses only the longest threads to weave her patterns, so each small piece of her fabric reveals the organization of the entire tapestry.” – Richard P. Feynman

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June 15-16: Overnight Steward and SIT Training

Hello, campers, stewards, SIT’s, and families! I’m Coltrane the turtle. You may recognize me if you’ve ever visited my tank in the Activity Center. If you’re not familiar, here’s a photo of me:

Yours Truly

Just when I was getting used to it being quiet around here, over 50 stewards and SIT’s came here to Tollgate on June 15 for 24 hours of training, activities, and animal chores (none of which involved me).

It all started with this “farm fruit challenge” that the edu-leaders cooked up. From what I saw, the stewards and SIT’s formed eight groups, and each group went to a different area of the site. From there, an edu-leader read a limerick and the kids had to guess what the last word was. Then, they participated in some sort of challenge to “earn” a fruit for a parfait. Here in the Activity Center, Garden Kitchen Leader Leah challenged everyone to build a tower of toothpicks and grapes.

Working on grape and toothpick towers

Other stations included:

Rope square

Making a rope square with eyes closed

Rope square

Harder than it looks

Teeter-totter

Balancing on a teeter-totter

Teeter-totter

Progress on the teeter-totter

Teeter-totter

Success on the teeter-totter!

Plank walk

Plank walk. Synchronicity is key.

Plank walk

Plank walk

Holding a chicken

Hold a chicken for five seconds.

Water relay

Water-over-the-head relay.

Birth order lineup

Line up in birth order…but no talking!

After the activities and a scrumptious dinner of hotdogs and chili, we had my favorite part of the night: the square dance! I didn’t dance (because I’m a turtle), but I could hear the music all the way from my tank, and there were some great tunes.

Square dance

Everyone in a circle

Big circle part 2

Big circle part 3

Some stewards enjoying the dance.

Square dance

Bow to your partner, bow to your corner, all. Take the lady by the hands and promenade the hall.

Square dance

The Texas Hustle to Billy Ray Cyrus’s “Achy Breaky Heart”

Texas Hustle

Square dance

Smaller groups form squares for square dancing.

After the dance, everyone gathered around a nice big campfire and sang some songs. My favorites were “Boom-Chicka-Boom” and “Tarzan the Jungle Man.” By then, everyone was pretty tired, so we made last minute adjustments to our tents, and then crawled in for the night.

Tent setup

Setting up tents for the night.

Tent setup

A nice pink tent!

The next morning, after a yummy breakfast, it was time for animal chores!

Sheep eat

Sheep need breakfast, too!

Hanging with goats

Hanging out with the goats.

Girl with goat

Leading a goat back to the barn.

Milking a goat

Milking time!

Girl petting goat

Camp: a place for making new friends (of all species!)

After the animals were accounted for and taken care of, everyone split into three groups for stations. The activities in the rotation were canoeing, fishing, and fire-building.

Getting on a canoe

Ms. Nicole holds the canoe steady for embarkation

Canoeing

They’re off!

Fishing and canoeing

Fishin’ and Canoein’

Fishing

Nothing like fishing on a sunny Saturday!

Caught a fish

Success!

Fishing

Hook, line, and sinker

Fire-starting

Using a fire-starter to create some sparks and catch the wood on fire.

Both days were a blast, and I have to admit that it got me in the mood for camp. Good news for me: it starts next Monday! Now, I’m off to swim a lap or two. See you soon!

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Spring Farm Sprouts 2018 – Week #8 Tuesday PM

We concluded a beautiful spring season by sharing memories with the support of our Wonder Wall, creating a mural to represent our big question of inquiry, “How does a garden grow?,” exploring the farm and pond area, and welcoming families to join us for a wagon ride around the farm. Where once there were blossoms on the trees, now we discover tasty fruit. We find ourselves saying goodbye to each other, for now, and to the passing season as we move into summer. The blossoms will surely return just as we hope to see those growing out of the program back for visits and many we’ll see back in the fall to see what comes of our growing apples and sunflowers. Farm Sprouts will forever remain a part of our farm community, by what they learned from their experiences and what they gave to the land and the creatures who call it home, from the tiny insects in the pond and the playful goat kids in the barn to the towering sugar maples in the forest. We are all a part of the tapestry that is being created at Tollgate Farm.

Thank you to our Sustainable Agriculture team for collaborating with us this spring and contributing their time, energy, and delicious produce to our program! The impact of knowing and working with the farmers who grow our food is tremendous. The kale grown for our “Sunflower Kale Smoothies” came from the program. They offer a C.S.A. program which offers shares of the produce they grow to the community.

Sunflower Kale Smoothies

1 cup frozen berries
1 frozen banana
1 cup chopped kale
2 Tbs. sunflower seeds (or sunflower seed spread)
1 Tbs. honey
1 cup coconut water

We enjoyed our smoothies on the pond deck with the story, The Flowers Are Calling by Rita Gray.

Many thanks to Roy Prentice, Norb Leppanen, Joe Mitts, and Nicole Simmons for their support with operations and animals. They are essential to making this program and all of our educational programs possible. They go above and beyond to support us. Their dedication, energy, and passion is greatly appreciated!

“Nature uses only the longest threads to weave her patterns, so each small piece of her fabric reveals the organization of the entire tapestry.” – Richard P. Feynman

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Spring Farm Sprouts 2018 – Week #8 Tuesday AM

We concluded a beautiful spring season by sharing memories with the support of our Wonder Wall, creating a mural to represent our big question of inquiry, “How does a garden grow?,” exploring the farm and pond area, and welcoming families to join us for a wagon ride around the farm. Where once there were blossoms on the trees, now we discover tasty fruit. We find ourselves saying goodbye to each other, for now, and to the passing season as we move into summer. The blossoms will surely return just as we hope to see those growing out of the program back for visits and many we’ll see back in the fall to see what comes of our growing apples and sunflowers. Farm Sprouts will forever remain a part of our farm community, by what they learned from their experiences and what they gave to the land and the creatures who call it home, from the tiny insects in the pond and the playful goat kids in the barn to the towering sugar maples in the forest. We are all a part of the tapestry that is being created at Tollgate Farm.

Thank you to our Sustainable Agriculture team for collaborating with us this spring and contributing their time, energy, and delicious produce to our program! The impact of knowing and working with the farmers who grow our food is tremendous. The kale grown for our “Sunflower Kale Smoothies” came from the program. They offer a C.S.A. program which offers shares of the produce they grow to the community.

Sunflower Kale Smoothies

1 cup frozen berries
1 frozen banana
1 cup chopped kale
2 Tbs. sunflower seeds (or sunflower seed spread)
1 Tbs. honey
1 cup coconut water

We enjoyed our smoothies on the pond deck with the story, The Flowers Are Calling by Rita Gray.

Many thanks to Roy Prentice, Norb Leppanen, Joe Mitts, and Nicole Simmons for their support with operations and animals. They are essential to making this program and all of our educational programs possible. They go above and beyond to support us. Their dedication, energy, and passion is greatly appreciated!

“Nature uses only the longest threads to weave her patterns, so each small piece of her fabric reveals the organization of the entire tapestry.” – Richard P. Feynman

 

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