Spring has arrived and yet, the sap is still flowing! We’re closing in on having one of our best year’s yet in terms of maple syrup production! With these extended freezing nights and warm days, the sap has been flowing steadily and the sugar shack has been buzzing with activity. It’s amazing to think Farm Sprouts were able to contribute to the process! Not only did they help tap a tree and haul buckets, but they also provided our volunteers with some very important interaction. The heart of what the volunteers do lies in knowing they are passing on a tradition that is as old as time to support the development of the future stewards of our land. We’ve been a part of a beautiful example of a powerful system of education, which includes a love of land, place, and learning which results in the contribution to something that is bigger than us all.
Farm Sprouts signed in by sharing a memory from the season and voting for
We had much to do in the classroom area on the last day. Farm Sprouts placed finishing touches on our Sugar Shack and worked to tap a tree, collect sap, add wood to the firebox, and boil down sap into syrup. They made butter, engaged in an ice melting experiment, as the snow has melted away to make way for decomposing leaves and mud. Play dough was available in shades of maple syrup to match the USDA grading system: light, amber, dark, and very dark. Mr. Roy and Mr. Norb were busy bottling maple syrup in the workshop and they accommodated our schedule so Farm Sprouts could have a peak and ask questions about this very important and final step of the process.
Farm Sprouts officially engaged with and supported each step of the maple sugaring process! It was time to celebrate, which meant pancakes! Farm Sprouts helped to mix the batter, add the eggs collected from our chicken coop, to gobble them up with freshly-made butter and maple syrup they had helped produce! We read the story, Pancakes for Breakfast by Tomie dePaola, now a program tradition. The mix for our pancakes came from
It was time to head outside! We made our way to the animal barn. We stopped to visit our chickens and enjoyed the special opportunity to interact with our brand new lambs. We observed their funny movements, fuzzy faces, and interactions with their mothers. We giggled at our animals, from balancing chickens hiding eggs behind straw bales to lambs climbing their mom as if they were mountain climbers. Farm Sprouts are developing an understanding of what it means to be a mammal!
Many thanks to Garrett Owen for providing us with the petunias. We hope your Farm Sprouts are enjoying caring for them and that if they are not yet blooming, they soon do so for you! May they remind you of the farm and springtime adventures coming soon!