Spring Farm Sprouts 2017 – Week #3 (PM)

We had a beautiful, sunny day for Farm Sprouts this week! We continued with our study of embryology, met two new mammals who just arrived to live at MSU Tollgate Farm, and dove into a garden project. This week we signed in with seeds. We created seed mosaics to make the first letter of our name, voted for tractor or silo and created chicken collages with a variety of craft materials, including feathers, nesting material, and eyes. Our indoor animal chores included feeding our turtle and worms to the fish who are part of a Tollgate Farm 4-H Club hydroponics project. Many thanks to the club for lending us their ovascope and webcam!

During our large group gathering, we flapped our wings like chickens to dance to “Josefina la gallina” and revisited the ovascope, this time hooked up to a webcam so we could view our eggs as a class. We described what we saw and made predictions about whether an egg would hatch into a chick or not. Our countdown shows we have seven more days until they are due to hatch, so next week we hope to continue our journey to discover how an egg becomes a chick. We also read Discovering Nature’s Alphabet by Krystina Castella to inspire us to search for letters in the outdoors as we explore the farm in the coming weeks.


In our outdoor classroom area, we “cooked” with seeds in the sensory table. Many children prepared tasty imaginary soups and stews. Per request, we sowed sunflower seeds to take home. These seeds were harvested from our sunflowers planted last spring. We hope your seed sprouts successfully, but if your child is really interested in growing sunflowers at home, we recommend starting some additional seeds just in case the one we sent home does not successfully germinate. There are various factors which contribute to successful seed germination. If seeds don’t successfully germinate, it can be interesting to consider what may have happened. How does a seed turn into a plant? It’s valuable to look at a variety of seeds and to think about how they share much in common, yet also vary in appearance and requirements to turn into healthy plants, just we do as humans share common ground, yet are all unique. Try saving seeds from the produce you consume for one week to assess and appreciate the diversity of seeds! We also began our big gardening project, which will take a couple weeks to complete. We’ll share photos of where we are so far with the process.

For garden snack, we munched on cucumbers, which were a big hit! We noticed the seeds in the center of our slices and practiced a bit of Spanish, such as our manners (please = por favor and thank you = gracias) and the word for cucumber (el pepino) and that we like cucumbers (Me gustan los pepinos.)

Next, it was time for animal chores, which led us to meet Opal and Eleanor, our new mini lop bunnies. We talked about how we are mammals and how we are different from birds. We noted just like us, bunnies have fur or hair. They don’t hatch from eggs like chickens and drank milk when they were newly born. We fed them pea shoots from last week’s harvest as a special treat.


Lastly, we familiarized ourselves with the educational garden. We took a moment to admire the animals out to pasture. We thought about how seeds turn into plants and were given the mission to document an interesting garden discovery in our journals. Next week we’ll spend additional time there preparing the beds for transplanting our sunflowers. We’ll also work at uncovering how crucial the happenings below the ground are to creating a healthy garden. We closed with reading with reading What will grow? by Jennifer Ward. We look forward to seeing you for another day of fun and learning at the farm very soon!

Why not plant a seed today?


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