The past month’s activities of Tollgate Farm 4-H Club members demonstrate the variety of activities that can be incorporated into 4-H. Of course there were ongoing animal care activities. Additionally we made products for and held a farm stand sale, learned basic sewing, and started a community service project.
Animal care is a basic part of 4-H life at Tollgate.We handle cleaning and feeding tasks most weekends. With the recent arrival of sheep, the kids have been working on halter training to make the sheep easier to handle and be possible showmanship projects for fair.
We started the holiday season with a farm stand sale at Light Up the Night Novi. This years product assortment included candy filled ornaments, chocolate dipped spoons, granola, goat milk soap and more. A few months prior to the event, the kids decided on the product mix and figured out when to make the items – life skill planning.
Sewing is a new area of exploration. We experimented with making feed bag aprons, used the many empty animal feed bags as raw material. You may see feed bag aprons and totes at future stands. We also spent an afternoon making bee quilts. Each quilt is a simple pillow case made of burlap and muslin, and stuffed with dry leaves. The quilt provides insulation and also helps absorb water keeping the bees warm and dry. Through these projects, the kids were introduced to sewing basics.
Finally, November was the kick off of the Club’s annual seed packet collection service project. Donations are requested from seed companies. The packets collected will be provided to school and non profit gardens throughout the Detroit area in January/ February to help everyone get seedlings started. To date, the Club has collected 2500 packs of seeds!