Monday, June 10, 2013

Farm to Table to Farm to Family Table!

Kindergartners have come full circle (so to speak) with our journey that started at a commercial farm in September all the way to Etienne's Farm house this past week. 

We have been able to hopefully close a loop and bring our school year to a close with a very meaningful journey around the classroom, school building, out into the community, and throughout the world! 

Our class trip to Etienne's house was a culminating part of that journey.  The house and grounds were full of Beatrix Potter-esque charm and beauty!  We studied Miss Potter's upbringing in London and her estate at Hilltop Farm (that is still in existence) earlier in the year. 
As you may have remembered, she kept a menagerie of animals at her home and often studied their characteristics, sketched their forms, and acquired various kinds on her travels to the countryside.  

We made our arrival after taking a very adventurous route to the farm and were welcomed by Etienne's father and sister.  Eager Kindergartners were able to find adventure around every turn beginning in the barn.  Baby chicks were caressed and sorted by hen and  turkey after examining attributes of each.  We were able to pick freshly laid eggs evidenced by their warm temperatures.  

We met  a rabbit that we are pretty  sure is a close relation to Peter Rabbit (minus the blue coat) and were greeted by a feathered friend that was later identified as a duck  that looked a lot like a rooster.  We were also  greeted loudly by a rooster who was not at all interested in us checking his feathers and inspecting whether or not he had ears-he did!    
We were also given some turkey feathers as gifts and decided to tickle the rooster with them!  We sauntered over to the rams and sheep and watch (from a safe distance) the proper hold for handling the male.   We also compared a ram's horn (non- detachable) to a deer's antlers that fall off seasonally or with injury.   Ks even had an opportunity to feed the freshly groomed animals!  

The orchard bore promises of juicy peaches and the garden was filled with the being shoots of a great harvest.  Red lettuces looked like they were already ripe for the picking.

Washing wool was next on the agenda with three different types, textures, and  colors to choose from.  we found that a gentle dipping in mild soapy water was sufficient followed by a few rinses.  The pungent aroma of the wool reminded one of your favorite wool sweater that you happened to wear out in the rain.

A game of fishing with bobbing ducks was just the perfect touch while overlooking the beautiful scenery of Whitmore Lake.

A thorough hand washing was followed by a family style bagged lunch set up in the dining room of their gorgeous farmhouse.  Adults were even treated to a steaming bowl of jambalaya over rice and a three berry cake made by Etienne's Mom!  It was very difficult to tear ourselves away after all of that, but we left with so many fond memories and an invitation to return to their farm again next year!  We will definitely be there. 

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