Saturday, March 26, 2011

Spring at Good Earth Farm

 We've had a chilly start to our spring quarter of Farm School.  Luckily the day begins with the kids helping Farmer Dan build the fire for us to gather around.  There was a new little heifer there to greet us.
Morning Circle
Peggy joins the circle
 After morning circle, we walked the farm, to see what is new in the woods, and to visit the other new life on the farm.
 The children divide into harvesters and cooks; my girls inevitably choose to prepare lunch, though I think they would both enjoy picking spinach and gathering eggs.
 We learned that humans are the only animal who peels bananas the way we do - from the stem.  Apes and monkeys hold the stem as a handle and peel from the other end, which was surprisingly easy!
 After a large fruit salad and rice and beans with toppings, it was time to help feed Hazel.
 Our afternoon activity this week was based on an Appalachian folk story called Old Joe and the Carpenter (found in a publication from Teaching Tolerance, of the Southern Poverty Law Center). It's a story about friendship and extending the offer of friendship even when challenged by an unkindness.  The cooperative games that followed demanded communication and teamwork, which is such a challenge for this age group (4 - 9)! Challenging but valuable.
 Balancing on a board, put yourselves in alphabetical order, without stepping on the ground! Help each other not to fall off...
 Acting as one body, help each other swing across the lava...
 In groups of 3 or 4, sit on the ground and, holding hands so as to not touch the ground, find a way to stand as a group.  These games were so exciting to the kids - it was such a great way to put physicality into abstract words like trust, and effective communication.
During closing circle we share highlights of the day together. Unanimously the children chose the lava game - Ani's contribution, with a giggle, was "again with the lava".  A successful day.

1 comment:

merry said...

I'm going grocery shopping after work, and the next banana I eat I'm going to try peeling it backwards! Cool!