For the past couple of months the kids in the twins' village have been learning about farming and I chaperoned a field trip a couple of weeks ago to a large working farm in the hills nearby. Since I was with Allison's class the last time I joined a field trip I went with Kate's class this time. Below was my assigned group for the day, including Jake, one of Kate's best friends. Allison got to sit right across from me on the school bus though.
When we arrived the kids gathered for pictures and pet some baby chicks which were held by their teachers.
The we all met the owner, Farmer Rob. It's obvious that Farmer Rob hosts a lot of school groups because he is very, very good at speaking to small children, keeping their attention, and keeping them interested and entertained. Farmer Rob told the kids a little about his farm and what he does, then we set out for a wagon ride to the other side of the farm to get to work.
He talked to us about field plowing, and recruited three little girl "horses" to help him and another student pull the plow. Then he and the kids used a machine to remove corn kernels from their cobs and we gathered these kernels and went to one of his empty corn fields. The kids lined up and expertly planted some corn seeds for him. Who says good help is hard to find?
The kids also got to climb on some tractors and wagons, feed some goats, chickens, and rabbits, and help Farmer Rob check the progress of the apples in the orchard.
Farmer Rob also grows christmas trees and I was thinking that maybe we should take a trip there this winter and cut a tree for ourselves, which is something we haven't done in the past.
The field trip came towards the end of the farm project the kids have been doing in class, where they put together individual farm books and plotted out a farm of their own. I remember when Erin did this project 2 years ago and I still think it's remarkable as it reinforces understanding of money and math as well as learning about different domestic animals and plant science.
This is Kate's farm plot. The black is the road, brown is dirt, green is pasture land, yellow is vegetable crops. If they wanted to buy two horses for example, they had to have sufficient funds for the purchase and the fencing, and realize that each horse requires so many acres of pasture. Then they had to plot that in their farms accordingly. Each child ended up with a farm that was planned out by them and was unique.
Finally, it was farming unit open house day at school and the parents could come to class and have the kids explain their finished farms and show them off. That day fell on a work day for me, so daddy came to school and to each of the girls' classes and saw the finished products.
Fortunately, I don't feel like I missed much since I'm in class every week and I've been helping the kids with various stages of their projects all the way along.