Good evening, friends and family! It’s Clifford again. Today was ruminant animal day here at MSU Tollgate Farm. Ruminant animals, like me, have a stomach that is very different from my pepper friends. We don’t have to completely chew all our food because instead of one compartment to the stomach, we have four. The rumen is the first compartment, as well as the largest, where the food is stored for a snack later, which is why we’re called ruminant animals. My other ruminant friends on the farm are sheep and goats. Anyway, that’s enough about me. Let’s start from the beginning…
In the morning, my pepper friends met for another pepper party (moo!) and heard about all the cool new friends they were going to meet. I think I was just as excited as they were! Before meeting my farm friends and me, the little peppers played with some Oobelck, an interesting substance that acts like liquid when you touch it, but is like a solid when you pick it up. It’s so weird and gooey looking! I could hear the fascination from the little peppers as I paced anxious to meet them.
After playing with the Oobelck, the peppers went on a bug hunt! Some of the peppers caught large insects like a grasshopper! They are quite the bug catchers.
Next, the peppers spent some time with Ms. Katie in the Garden Kitchen where they made two snacks! For the morning snack they made Yogurt Granola Parfait and for the afternoon snack they made the mixture for homemade bread and set it away to bake. It smelled so yummy! I sure do envy all the delicious food they make, especially when it comes to grain and oats.
Finally, I got to meet my new pepper friends up close and personal! Mr. Alan explained to my new friends that I was a calf and that when I grow up I will be called a steer. He also showed them my huge chompers. I was a little shy at first, but the peppers knew how to perk me up! They fed me a sweet treat, which brought the goats running. Brownie, the mother goat, tried to get her hands on some, but the treat wasn’t for her! Silly Brownie! The peppers gave Brownie and her two kids some attention and I think the goats really appreciated meeting them. I was a little tired from all the excitement, so our visit didn’t last long, but it sure was nice to see them all!
After meeting me and the goats, the peppers met with my sheep friends, but the sheep were a little sheepish. Regardless, Mr. Alan taught the peppers that their wool contains lanolin which helps to keep them from getting really wet when it rains. I bet peppers wish they had sheep’s wool on rainy days!
After such an exciting morning, the peppers spent the afternoon preparing for tomorrow, Fishy Thursday! The peppers went into the Maple Forest to search for worms because they are going fishing tomorrow. What’s better bait than live worms? In the forest, the peppers put yesterday’s knowledge of recognizing poison ivy to use. Leaves of three let it be! The worm hunt wasn’t too successful, but the peppers did find one! Hopefully they have more luck tomorrow.
To complement the worm hunt, the peppers practiced casting their fishing lines, so that they will be expert fishermen for tomorrow. The wind made casting quite a challenge, but all the peppers did so well!
In the Garden Kitchen, the peppers made homemade butter and ricotta cheese to spread on their bread. They all loved their bread so much that they didn’t want to come out and see me again to give me some. Darn!
To end the day, each pepper group spent some quality time together playing games, brainstorming Friday’s activities, and reading a book.
It was a really great day here at MSU Tollgate Farm, but all the excitement has made me soooooo tired. I’m off to get my beauty sleep so I’ll be well rested for another fun-filled day tomorrow. In the meantime, check out the photos below to see all the fun we had. Goodnight my peppers, friends, and family!
Clifford the Calf