Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Homeschool Field Trip: Harvest View Farm

We took a field trip last Thursday with our homeschool coop to the Harvest View family farm in Butler. The farmer gave a presentation on all of the things they grow at the farm - cucumbers, tomatoes, squash, potatoes, strawberries, beans, and apples, to name a few - and taught the kids how to make apple cider.

 They also have honeybee hives and make their own honey, so he gave a demonstration on that too. That was actually very interesting... we learned that if you are suffering from seasonal allergies and stir a teaspoon of local honey into your tea or onto your peanut butter sandwich, it's as good as a dose of zyrtec!  Also, it takes the life's work of eight honeybees to make that one teaspoon of honey.  Chloe and I decided on the way home that the honeybees were quite intriguing, so we're going to head to the library next week in search of books to help us learn more about how they work.

Chloe, Rebecca, Megan, and Brooke, ready to learn!

Paul and Max
Learning about growing vegetables....
and keeping bees.

A captive audience!

The farmer's wife gave the kids a mini tour of their freerange chicken coop, which was a highlight for a lot of the little ones. They were allowed to pet a chicken - I guess that's fun for a six year old! The moms had no desire to pet the chicken :-).

Then she gave all the kids a delightful and perfectly timed snack - popcorn, apples right off their trees, and little bags of candy corn.

Our attempt to get all the kids looking at the same place and smiling at the same time...

To end the trip we all took a hayride through the farm and had lunch together before we left. It was a great morning shared with the Sheldons, Navarres, and Bozeks, as well as lots of other homeschooling families. One of my personal highlights was listening to the farmers talk. As I shivered in the barn I marveled at the cold, hard work the late Fall brings to them, as it rains and the skies turn gray and winter starts knocking on the door. And yet they are so humble, so gracious, welcoming us to their home and their land, proudly teaching our children about the work they do. Learning about squash varieties and beekeeping turned out to be the icing on the cake... their humility and gentle spirits and dirt-encrusted hands were the real lesson that day.

"Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might."
     Ecclesiastes 9:10

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