WOW! We had yet another fantastic day at Green Science Adventure Camp! All of the campers have a wonderful attitude and are so willing to try new things. It makes our jobs as camp staff so enjoyable!
We continued to take care of the farm animals this morning. The Green Peppers bottle fed the goat kids while the Yellow Peppers milked Isabella. The Orange Peppers gathered eggs and cared for the chickens, and the Red Peppers fed and watered the pullets, ducks and goose.
Our Garden Kitchen project this morning involved a snack for us and a snack for our pony! We made hummus for ourselves and enjoyed it with warm pita bread. Then we mixed up some horse treats to feed to Friday, our pony, during Horse Day tomorrow.
We reinforced our bird nests from yesterday and helped pull weeds in the garden. It is important for the health of our vegetable plants that we eliminate any extra pressure that we can. Some farms spray their weeds with chemicals to kill them, but because we grow our veggies and fruits organically (without chemicals), we have to use people power to get rid of the weeds.
Today was Ruminant Day, and we learned all about ruminant animals. This includes sheep, goats, cows, deer, and many other animals. We talked through the process of digesting food and learned about the different parts of a ruminant’s digestive track – rumen, reticulum, omasum, abomasum. The rumen is where food goes when it is first swallowed, and that is where microbes start to break down food. Next, partially digested food moves into the reticulum. In this second stage, heavy or foreign objects that are potentially harmful to the animal settle and are prevented from moving into the next parts of the digestive tract. Farmers who raise cattle tend to put a magnet in each cow’s reticulum to trap any small pieces of metal that may have been dropped in a pasture while building or repairing fences. Food is regurgitated from the reticulum back up to the animal’s mouth for a second round of chewing. This regurgitated material is called cud, and ruminants can often be seen chewing on theirs while relaxing in a pasture. After additional chewing, food moves to the omasum where excess moisture is squeezed out of the food. It then passes into the abomasum, or the “true stomach.” This part of the stomach has acids and functions similarly to human stomachs to break down food completely.
To illustrate the ruminant digestive process, we stuck our hands in buckets whose contents represented the different stages of digestion. Afterwards, we played a relay game to burn off some energy!
Tomorrow we will be fishing in the pond, so we talked about fishing safety and practiced casting after lunch. Keep an eye out for fish photos tomorrow!
Each pepper group took a hike through the arboretum, and they brought along some furry friends!
During Garden Kitchen, we built asparagus rafts that were absolutely delicious! All of the campers were great about trying the asparagus even if they didn’t think they would like it, and many found that it was tasty! The recipe can be found at the end of this post.
As promised, we are continuing to build on our sustainable farm models, and our campers seem to get dirtier and more creative each day.
We have had yet another wonderfully productive day here at Tollgate. Tomorrow is sure to hold more great experiences, and we cannot wait to share it with our campers!
1 19 oz can garbanzo beans/chickpeas
2 peeled garlic cloves
½ cup tahini
3 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
2 Tbs. water
1 Tbs. Olive Oil
½ tsp. ground cumin
¼ tsp. salt
- Process garlic in food processor until minced
- Add tahini and remaining ingredients. Process 30 seconds or more until smooth.
- Serve with pita wedges
16 thick asparagus spears
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
1 clove of garlic (minced)
2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
¼ teaspoon pepper
- Heat up grill.
- Snap off tough ends of asparagus. Line up side by side, 3-4 asparagus spears, so that they are touching each other. Run skewer through the asparagus near the top and bottom.
- Combine soy sauce, sesame oil and garlic. Brush on top of asparagus rafts.
- Grill about three minutes on each side until crisp tender. Sprinkle sesame seeds and salt and serve.