The first thing we did when we got to the farm was practice a poem for the Eggstravaganza. There were three groups. I was in a group with myself, Carina, Heather, Sam and EJ. Antoehr group was Connie, Kenton, Lania, Svea and Nathan, and the last group was Andre, Violet, Addie, Braden and Markel. Then we had to do chicken care. I was in bedding/eggs. We had to rake up hay and straw out of the run. I had to get into the nesting boxes and scrape out all the poop into a wheel barrow with a hand held excavator and a trowel. Luckily I had a bandana tied around my mouth and nose so I wouldn't breath in the germs.
~Alexander Luker, Upper Elementary
Thursday, February 20, 2014
What I did at farm was that we got the beds ready for planting. I took compost out of the compost bin and put it in a wheelbarrow, took it to the beds and spread the compost out through the beds.
But before that, other groups loosened up the dirt in the beds. There were three groups. The first group pulled out the weeds, the second group loosened the beds, and the third group put composted soil in it.
All we have to do now is wait to plant the seeds at our next farm lesson.
I like the farm because it gives me the opportunity to have freedom, take care of animals (chickens) and take care of plants.
~Braden Stewart, Upper Elementary
Thursday, February 6, 2014
This farm class we had a discussion about the distance our food travels and it’s repercussions globally. We had four fruits: avocados, kiwis, apples, and mangos. We recorded for each fruit where it came from, how far it traveled, and if it grew here in Alabama. We measured the distance the fruits traveled with a map with the scale of 750 miles to the centimeter and used that to calculate the distance each fruit had traveled to reach us. We also had sections on our paper where we recorded if our ability to import food from long distance has a positive or negative effect on the environment, price, nutrition, variety/choice and labor around the world. We then checked our answers for the section of our questions. After that we had discussion about the positive and negative affects of our ability to to import food from around the world and shared our answers from the second set of questions. we decided that it had a negative effect on the environment because of the added pollution from the extra transportation needed to get all that food to us. It makes food cheaper so it has a positive effect on price. It has a negative effect on nutrition because the food loses nutrients as it travels and is less healthy than local food. It has a positive effect on variety/choice there really isn’t much up for debate there. It has a positive effect on labor because it creates thousands of jobs around the world but if you buy local you would be supporting local jobs. If you buy food from far away the company you buy from might mistreat or underpay their workers. That is what we did in farm.
~Trevor Otis, Upper Elementary
Thursday, January 16, 2014
When we went to the farm today, we learned about the parts of the twig and how they grow. As twigs grow, they will split into buds, leaving bud scars. The twig created one new bud every year. The distance between two bud scars can tell you if it was a good year or a bad year. If the buds are far apart, it means it was a good year. If they are close together, then it wasn't. The nodes are another part of the twig, basically, they are where the twig breaks off into another twig. The lenticils are tiny dots all over the branch that let in air and water.
Then we got to go out to the outdoor classroom. I have not been there in a long time. The new students had never been there at all. Farmer Mark let me introduce them to the outdoor classroom. We had gone out there to find twigs in order to identify all their parts. But I wanted to explore.
The first thing I wanted to do was see if our spaceship was still there. What do you mean "our spaceship," you might ask. Well, it's a long story, but it was in fact still there. The spaceship is something I helped make out of wooden pallets. You can't see it from the ramp as you walk in, you have to actually be in the outdoor classroom. You can find it on Google Earth if you want. Just search for Hampstead and zoom in behind the big red barn.
Shockingly, the butterfly garden we planted last spring was completely covered by dead grass and weeds. You couldn't really see any of the plants anymore.
Ok, back to the assignment.
I did find a good branch. It came from a very, very tall tree. The branch had somehow grown so low, it almost touched the ground. I think it must've gotten struck by lightning at some point.
A short time later, it was time to go back to the farm. We talked about the assignment for a few minutes. We left when the Lower El arrived.
~ Heather Otis, Upper Elementary
Thursday, January 9, 2014
At farm we blindfolded each other. Well, we took turns. We brought our blindfolded parter and hooked arms (3 per group) and brought them to a bed. We let them feel the plant. We took them back to where we started. Then we took off the person's blindfold and let them guess which bed they visited. REPEAT!
~Maddy L. Martiny, Lower Elementary
Farmer Mark welcomed our new student, Kenton, and classmates enjoyed sharing their Winter Break experiences. Farmer Mark observed the students performing Chicken Care and has given the green light for the students to begin training parent volunteers to help with the chicken care on weekends.
Farmer Mark introduced the students to an observation experience that will be an ongoing observation practice once a month to document seasonal changes both inside and outside the farm. The students will return to the same spot once an month to record farm data and observations. It was a cold overcast day, but everyone seemed to be glad to be out on the farm!
Ms. Yvonne, Upper Elementary