What a beautiful ending to our biggest season of Farm Sprouts yet! We grew so much, individually and as a group. Today we signed in by sharing our favorite memory of the season. Some memories included hiking out to the forest, working with the horses, riding behind the tractor, caring for the farm animals, and simply playing outside!
We ground corn to feed our chickens. In the winter especially, our animals rely on us to keep them strong and healthy. We feed them hay and feed. We learned a new word today – pasture! When our pastures are covered with snow, the animals aren’t able to graze in the fields. How do they stay warm? They are mammals, which means they are covered in fur and warm-blooded. We have sheds and barns for them to come in to warm up and straw to provide them with a place to rest. We also told stories with puppets and explored food groups and natural materials, like leaves, among other classroom activities before gathering as a group today.
We sang our song, “Oh, Fall is Here” one last time.
Oh, Fall Is Here
MSU Tollgate Farm Version
Sung To: “Oh, Christmas Tree”
Oh, fall is here. Oh, fall is here,
And wintertime is coming.
The squirrels get ready. Yes, they do.
They gather nuts to get them through. (gather nuts with hands)
The wintertime, cold wintertime,
It’s fall and winter’s coming.
Repeat the song, each time replacing the third and
fourth lines above with a different verse below.
The sheep get ready. Yes, they do.
They grow warm fleeces to get them through. (cover your body with fleece)
The trees get ready. Yes, they do.
They shed their leaves to get them through. (flutter “leaves” to the ground)
The goats get ready. Yes, they do.
They grow thick coats to get them through. (cover your body with fur)
The geese get ready. Yes, they do.
They migrate south to get them through. (flap your “wings”)
As a summative group assessment activity, we held a discussion about our Wonder Wall. We thought about all we learned about being a part of the farm community: how to be safe on the farm, how to think like scientists, how to do real work on the farm. We said, “We are strong!” “We are adventurous!” “We are appreciated!” We talked about what we had accomplished, discovered, learned, and contributed over the fall season. Then we joined together to create a mural representing our thoughts about our essential question.
After completing our mural, it was time to head outside to enjoy the last day! First, we had the task of accomplishing fall clean up by clearing out the garden bed near our classroom space. We transported the dead plant materials to our compost trailer. With that big job complete, we headed to the chicken coop to feed the chickens some of the grain we had ground earlier. We challenged our physical abilities in the straw maze, working to climb, balance, crouch, run, and jump! We stopped to visit the new, draft horses who spent their earlier years working at Greenfield Village and who would now spent their retirement years with us at the farm. Lastly, we hiked up to the silo for a snack and a story. We loved the smoothie and said good night and goodbye to the different areas of the farm by reading the book, Sleep Tight, Farm: A Farm Prepares for Winter by Eugenie Doyle, a perfect closing to the season.
MSU Tollgate Farm “Silo Smoothies”
1-2 apples (from MSU Tollgate Farm)
1 cup rainbow chard (from MSU Tollgate Farm’s Sustainable Agriculture Program)
1 cup frozen Michigan cranberries
1 cup vanilla yogurt
1/3 cup coconut water
2 Tbs. honey (from MSU Tollgate Farm and harvested by Clay Ottoni, SEMBA)
a handful of ice
We concluded with a race down the hill and a wagon ride around the farm with our families. Thank you all for your support and for the opportunity to help your children grow! #msuextension #gogreen #spartanswill
“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.”
– Oliver Wendell Holmes