Thursday, October 13, 2011

School Groups Arrive For Tagging Monarchs

  1. It was monarch tagging time for the third grade at Ira B. Jones School during Sept. 22-23. They just missed the largest amount of monarchs by two days, but we had enough to tag and release them for the kids to see over the two day period.

    The kids got to enjoy seeing all phases of the butterflies as we still had eggs, larva, and chrysalis for them to witness. They had a great time seeing all of these up close and seemed to be the most excited by just touching the caterpillars.

    After visiting the flighthouse, they learned a little about farming as they helped pick milkweed seed pods and as a reward, got to keep plenty of seeds to plant at the school for the future.

    Other things at the farm were also equally fascinating to them as they learned about alternative energy, and spent time feeding the fish and watching dragonflies at the pond.

    Our next big visit was from Evergreen Charter School, where we had 48 kids at once. These kids were the fifth grade class and I don't really think there wasn't anything that they weren't familiar with here on the farm.

    Not only did we have more monarchs for them to tag when they were here on Oct. 6, but they learned a lot about small farms and particularly about the history of our farm here over the past 160 years. They got to see some really old farming tools and learned about how the "old timers" were the best sustainable farmers.

    These kids also helped out a lot on the farm. They even brought work gloves and helped me prepare pots for blueberries, collect milkweed seed pods, and spread mulch onto my blueberries.

    What I thought was particularly exciting was to see the number of students who, when asked if they thought they would become farmers, raised their hands enthusiastically. Maybe, just maybe my little one day visit has inspired at least one new farmer for the future!!