Mud and Horse Camp – Day 3

We had a wonderful Wednesday at Mud Camp!

Campers are doing a wonderful job of caring for the animals!

This morning our Green Peppers milked Jenna the goat.

The Yellow Peppers took care of the rabbits and made sure that the horses and the cattle were exhibiting normal behavior. What is normal behavior for a horse?

The Orange Peppers fed and watered the ducks and the chickens. They collected eggs, washed the eggs, marked them with today’s date and then stored them in the cooler. They also had to move the chicken tractor. Chickens are omnivores. Their food consists of the grains we feed them, and the grasses and insects that live in the pasture.

The Red Peppers took care of the goats and the sheep. The kid goats are fed separate from the adults. What kind of food do the kids eat?

Horse Campers made our barn shine!

This morning campers participated in the story of a river that grew more and more polluted by the actions of the people who lived, worked, and played by the river. We leaned about many different types of pollutants and how they sometimes, unintentionally, end up in our water system. Manure from farm animals is one example. If just enough manure is broken down into rich compost and added to the soil, plants thrive! If too much manure sits on top of the soil and washes into a pond during a heavy rain we get nitrification and a spike in phytoplankton populations (algae blooms). More phytoplankton for pond organisms to eat is a good thing. But when those phytoplankton die, their decomposition uses up the dissolved oxygen that the fish and other organisms need to breath, and that is not good.

In the garden campers hand rolled balls made from a mixture of clay, water, and soil. They then rolled the balls in a tray of grass seed. At the end of the week our campers will throw the seed balls in places they notice suffering from erosion.

In the afternoon campers took a hike around the pond to learn about riparian buffers. Some of the campers read the book, Riparia’s River by Michael J. Caduto, to prepare them for the hike. In the story a group of friends were playing at their favorite swimming hole when they noticed a rotten smell and green slime. Why? The children wanted to know. They journeyed up stream and meet a woman, Riparia, who pointed out the healthy plants and the animals that live near the riverbank. She also showed the friends places where the plants on the river edge were cut down or worn away by animals and people who visited the river. Without the plants pollutants, such as oil and salt from roadways, were easily swept into the water where they caused trouble.  Campers identified the riparian buffers around the Tollgate pond. They pointed out milkweed, willows, and cattails; all plants that filter water.

Everyone tested their paddling skills today on the Tollgate Pond. Campers in the front of the canoe were in charge of steering. Campers in the back of the canoe were like the engine; they powered the canoe. Some of the campers played a game of tag. They raced back and forth across the pond while developing their skills.

Thank you Stewards and Life Guard, Shin, for keeping us safe!

STEM projects continued today, and boy, were they muddy! Some of the campers are working on building castles with all natural materials.

The Red Peppers have been building volcanoes. On Friday theTollgate Volcano is going to explode. The farm, the animals, and the camp are all in danger. How will we protect the farm from destruction?

In garden kitchen we combined some surprising ingredients. Chocolate and avocado. Ms. Shea taught us some Spanish. Why Spanish? Do avocados and chocolate grow in Michigan?

We also made crispy, curried chick peas. While the Yellow Peppers waited for them to bake they played a riveting game of hangman. What was the secret phrase?

Here are the recipes from today’s Garden Kitchen!

Chocolate Pudding

  • Two avocados
  • 6 – 8 dates
  • 3 tablespoons cacao powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup milk or non-dairy milk (we used rice milk)
  • Pinch of salt

In a food processor, combine avocados, dates, and remainder of ingredieants and process for about one minute. Check consistency and scrape the sides. add a bit more of milk or non-dairy milk if needed and process for another minute. Served topped with desired ingredients such as cocoanut flakes, strawberries, seeds, etc. or enjoy plain. We dipped pretzels!

Crunchy, Curried Chickpeas

  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Put all of the ingredients into a mixing bowl and stir until well combined. Line a baking tray with non-stick parchment paper and place coated chickpeas on baking tray. Cook for about 30 – 40 minutes depending on how crunchy you want them. Toss the chickpeas around every 10 – 15 minutes so that they crunch up evenly.


Thank you all for another great day!! Only two left. Don’t forget to bring a swim suite and towel for the waterslide on Friday 🙂

See you in the morning!

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