Mr. McGregor, Ol McDonald, Ho ho the derry o, the farmer in the dell are all famous farmers. Do you know the first name of your farmer? For most children (and adults) farmers and farms are imaginary creations and never experienced. Taking the kinder to a local farm for a day can be a marvelous adventure. What better way to observe the season and learn about the source of food and the annual cycle of farm life. Won’t you set a little time aside this season for a Kinder Farm Day?
Children are terribly disconnected about where their food comes from. They only know the supermarket pressed and sprinkled packaged substitute. When all your food is delivered bottled or canned a primal awareness is lost of the annual seasons of harvest. A Kinder Farm adventure develops first hand knowledge and respect for nature. If future generations are going to care about farms and farming they should be directly exposed to the people and places that produce food.
Dairy farm, hog farm, flower farm, apple farm or wheat farm, which is close to you? Preparation and planning will insure there is something of interest and fun for all ages at the local farm. First call your farmer to make arrangements. Decide a time so that the farmer might involve the family with some hands on chores to learn the work ethic of running a family farm. Ask what crops are ready to harvest or of any new baby animal arrivals. Most importantly create rules of behavior before going. Children naturally get rambunctious when first given a chance to be out of doors. Farm animals and farm equipment can be dangerous and unforgiving. So can the farmer. If you want to be invited back children must be courteous, respectful and supervised.
Prepare activities and lessons for the farm adventure that involve the use of the senses. Being able to touch, taste and smell will help to retain what was learned during the day. The more the adventure is talked about before and after going will also help to absorb and store farm lessons. Farms offer unlimited choices for educational opportunities. Bottle feeding a sheep or milking a goat is neat but just as relevant is mulching, digging, weeding or almost any thing else that is hands on. Planting and harvest are especially satisfying seasons to visit a farm. Gathering berries or pumpkins will reinforce the knowledge of where food comes from. Don’t forget mid or off season visits which also offer lessons. Have you ever gone to an apple orchard early in the year when the fruit is small and green and then gone back in Autumn when the same fruit is lush and red. What about a Christmas tree farm, ever go in August to pick out your tree?
Children today are three and four generations removed from the soil. In the future who will care for the farms? What will be the relationship with the Earth? In the future what will be the relationship with health, healthy food and healthy regional agriculture? Make a difference in your life and that of a child by creating a little adventure. Observe the seasons and plan a day for Kinder Farm.