Spring Farm Sprouts 2016 – Week 4

Worms are fascinating! This week we explored the world of vermicomposting. We imagined what it would be like to be a worm tunneling through the soil. Watch out for roots! A heavy spring rain then came down and forced us up to the surface and outside to begin our daily adventures and tasks at the farm.

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Acting Like Worms

Near the Children’s Garden, some chose to experiment with paint and tractors, making tracks while mixing colors of paint, even making new colors, like a muddy shade of brown. Perfect for a tractor to drive through! We also grew Oat Grass (Cat’s Grass) in our sensory table, leading us to take a closer look at how grass grows and is cared for. Sprouts gave it a trim with scissors and watered it with spray bottles. We pulled some up to inspect the roots and even discovered the seed coats, shed by the seeds during the process of germination. One other area available to Sprouts was a campsite set up with tree cookies, which lead to some interesting outdoor cooking involving black walnut shells, a closer look at the inside of a tree with magnifying glasses and the observation of a beetle captured in a pot.

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Cooking with Tree Cookies

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Tending the Cat’s Grass

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Painting with Tractors

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Tending the Cat’s Grass

For animal chores this week, we took care of the worms in our vermicomposting bin. Every child had the chance to hold a red wiggler and then we wet newspaper and fed the worms the compost scraps from our snacks. How do worms help a garden grow? We thought about this question and will continue the discussion in the coming weeks! We love worms!

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Holding a Red Wiggler

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Caring for the Vermicomposting Bin

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Holding a Red Wiggler

We had carrot sticks for snack today while also taking a look at a carrot with its top, noting we eat the root and the shoot is the leafy part which captures the sunlight, helping the carrot to grow for us to eat.

Our hike included a stop in the tractor barn. We talked about why we have tractors at the farm and took a look at the plow. Each Sprout sat up in the driver’s seat, which was a definite highlight for all! The afternoon group transplanted their sunflowers from the greenhouse to our Educational Garden, to help contribute the work being done in the farm community. The morning group will allow their sunflowers to grow a bit more before we transplant as well.

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Sitting in the Tractor Driver’s Seat

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What kind of work do the tractors do at Tollgate Farm?

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Sitting in the Tractor Driver’s Seat

We concluded the day by visiting Alice, our rabbit, at the Animal Barn. We noted some of her characteristics and thought a bit about how she is different than the egg-laying animals we have at the farm. We even read her the story, “The Carrot Seed” by Ruth Krauss, which she enjoyed thoroughly, of course!

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Introducing Alice to the Morning Group (Thanks, Ms. Nicole!)

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Meeting Alice the Rabbit

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Petting Alice the Rabbit

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