Good evening, friends and family! Today was feathered friends day at the MSU Extension Tollgate Education Farm Center. There are many tail feathers strutting about the farm including baby chicks, hens, a rooster, a turkey, and a goose, so the peppers had so much to explore and learn!
Mr. Alan and the counselors had a busy morning for the peppers that included one of my favorite activities: snack time. In the Garden Kitchen, Ms. Katie showed the peppers how to make Veggie Pinwheels. The pinwheels were made of flour tortillas with a mixture of chopped vegetables, sour cream, cream cheese and a dash of onion and garlic. The peppers wrapped the tortillas in such a way that they actually looked like pinwheels! Ms. Katie even showed the peppers a variation of the pinwheel using a corn tostada to share with our friends with wheat allergies. Instead of a pinwheel, the peppers ate it like a delicious veggie pizza.
After snack, the counselors put the peppers hard at work brainstorming how to protect an egg from a large drop. The peppers used natural materials such as grass, mud, and sticks to build nests to save their eggs from cracking when they were dropped. The peppers then put eggs in their nests and dropped them from the sky. Some of the eggs made it safely down in the nests built by the peppers (moo!). Others weren’t so lucky and there was yolk everywhere! The peppers thought about why their nests didn’t work and decided the nests with high walls and lots of padding and mud to secure the egg inside protected the eggs the most because they were less likely to bounce out and break. Regardless of whether or not the peppers’ eggs had a successful flight, everyone had a great time.
Following the egg drop, the peppers went for a hike in the woods. Ms. Courtney, Ms. Mandy, Ms. Jackie, and Mr.Alex taught my friends how to identify poison ivy and the difference between producers, consumers, and decomposers.
To end the morning, the peppers played a game called “Predator and Prey.” One pepper taught us a nice rhyme about the difference in eyes between predators and prey. “Eyes in front to hunt. Eyes on side to hide.” The peppers were then assigned different roles to learn about the food chain. Some of them were grasshoppers, some were frogs, some were hawks, and one was a human. The human was at the top of the food chain and was able to eat anything it wanted. The hawks feasted on frogs, the frogs feasted on grasshoppers, and the grasshoppers searched for food in the grass. I’m sure all my pepper friends are now experts on the food chain.
After lunch the counselors had a very special session planned: Chicken Hangout. The peppers were introduced to Henrietta the Hen, Steve the Rooster, Lucia the Goose, and Alfrid the Turkey. The peppers learned that a female chicken is called a hen and a male chicken is called a rooster. When chickens are young you can tell if it is going to be a rooster or a hen by whether its back feathers are even with its front feathers. If they’re all even, then it’s female, if they’re not then it’s male. Mr. Alan also taught the peppers that hens lay eggs only once every 25 hours, which means they can provide 6 eggs per week. I wonder what other fun facts about chickens my pepper friends remember. If you can think of anything I haven’t mentioned please share your new knowledge with all our readers in the comments below.
Next, the peppers spent time in their garden plots. There were a lot of weeds to be pulled, so the peppers put their green thumbs on to clean up the garden. Ms. Courtney, Ms. Mandy, Ms. Jackie, and Mr.Alex showed the peppers how to construct pots for plants out of newspaper and all the peppers planted seeds in their own newspaper pots to grow their own plants.
The day ended in the Garden Kitchen. Ms. Katie showed my friends how to whip up another delicious snack! Peppers made a creamy fruit salad using fruit like cantaloupe, blueberries, strawberries, and bananas. The fruit salad was creamy because it was made with homemade whipping cream, yum!
After an exhausting day, I mooed goodbye to my friends and prepared myself for a restful evening. Tomorrow is split-hoof Wednesday, so I’ll be in the spotlight. Looking forward to meeting you all personally tomorrow my pepper friends! In the meantime, check out the gallery below to relive Feathered Friends Day. There are also many photos posted on Facebook of each pepper holding the chicks, so don’t forget to like the page and view the album, here.
Clifford the Calf