Hooray for Forest Day! Forest Day is a seasonal tradition for our spring and fall seasons. Each Forest Day, Farm Sprouts create binoculars out of cardboard tubes, vote for one of our two principal trees found out in our 40 acres of forest, and prepare a very special snack for the forest… popcorn! We sourced ours locally from Bur Oaks Farm near Ann Arbor, MI and our Farm Sprouts don’t just eat it plain or with butter. Seasoned Farm Sprouts know they have the chance to enjoy the sweet taste of maple syrup along with their popcorn, an agricultural product which comes directly from our forest! This season we had our largest season of production to date with approximately 180 gallons! Our “Sugar Sprouts,” who joined us for our winter season, used a drill to tap a sugar maple tree, helped to collect sap, and supported the spirits of our hard-working team of volunteers to contribute to this incredible tradition. Each spring and fall, we enjoy munching our popcorn treat on our wooden bridge, making sure we take the time to look up and thank our sugar maple trees for the syrup they provided us.
Out in the forest, Farm Sprouts printed leaves in clay, utilized scientific tools to support us in making discoveries and inspecting them closer, challenged their bodies to run, climb, and move in a myriad of ways, and took in the beauty of the forest. Did you know there are incredible benefits to time in nature, not just for children, but also for adults? Check out these cool infographics to learn more!
Worms and plant life cycles have been incredibly fascinating this season. We wondered at the fact that trees are our biggest plants at the farm and spent time acting and interacting with our trees, feeling their bark, climbing their fallen branches, and rolling decaying logs to find out who might call them home. The book, An Earthworm’s Life by John Himmelman spurred us to look for egg worms in our vermicomposting bin and sparked a lot of BIG questions about worms, their habitats, life cycle, needs, and how they might help a garden grow! Interested in learning more about worms? Check out Journey North or University of Illinois Extension‘s websites. We’ll continue to wonder about what happens down in the soil to help a garden to grow and we continue to dig our hands into big work playing, exploring, and growing our minds in the final two weeks!
“And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.” – John Muir