Spring Farm Sprouts 2017 – Week #1 (PM)

Happy First Week of Spring Farm Sprouts! We had a beautiful first day to kick off the season. The apple and pear trees were in full blossom and we jumped straight into exploring life cycles, with a special focus on the life cycle of a chicken.

We scratched the first letters of our name in chicken crumble to sign in this week. We personalized our journals so that next week we are ready to begin documenting discoveries in nature. During our large group gathering, we danced to the song, “Josefina la gallina” before jumping into an inquiry-based discussion revolving around the question: How does an egg become a chick? We peered inside our incubator and added six eggs to observe over the next 21 days. We’ll have the chance to use an ovascope next week for a peek at what is happening inside the eggs.

Our Invitations to Play, Explore and Experiment included a sensory table with corn, scoops, and farm animals. Farm Sprouts had the chance to observe and hold three-week-old chicks and explore a variety of eggs, their weight with a scale, a cracked open egg, and what a chicken needs to survive. We’ll continue to investigate what plants and animals need to develop and survive in the coming weeks.

During our Mini Garden Kitchen, we enjoyed carrot sticks and fresh asparagus from our C.S.A. field. The produce is grown used sustainable methods. Farm Sprouts had the opportunity harvest young asparagus shoots themselves, learning to identify which stalks to harvest and which to leave to grow into mature plants. Many children gave the asparagus a try and some munched it right down! We’ll be getting our hands dirty next week by doing some planting of our own, which will include a visit to our greenhouse. Also while in the fields, we walked through our newly planted apple orchard, noting the different varieties.  

We hiked towards the pastures to observe our larger farm animals, taking special notice of the Angus cows and the two-day-old calf who was resting in a shed. We’ll surely be able to take a closer look in the coming weeks, plus more are on the way! In the Animal Barn, we familiarized ourselves with the barn and had the job of feeding our goat kids milk. Our goats are a Toggenburg breed of goats, known for their milk production. We also visited our free-range chicken flock at our mobile coop. We identified the roosters amidst the hens. One of our jobs during the season will be to collect eggs, connecting eggs to their source and deepening our understanding of the life cycle of a chicken.

During the last part of our morning together, we read a classic story, Rosie’s Walk by Pat Hutchins, which brought on giggles and a bit of discussion on predator-prey relationships before closing the afternoon with our goodbye routine.

Many thanks to Nicole Simmons, our Animal Care Coordinator, and Will Jaquinde, our C.S.A. Coordinator/Sustainable Agriculture Instructor, for their contributions to creating a rich and engaging program for this season’s Farm Sprouts!

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