Sunday, February 23, 2014

A Visit to Earth Care Farm

Last Friday HG and I visited Earth Care Farm, which is run by the grandparents of one of her Waldorf classmates.

The farm opened their fences for families to take a short tour and see some of their animals. At the end of the tour Farmer Jayne (the mom of HG's classmate) read a story to the kids and passed out cookies and apples. It was a chilly morning but terrific fun. Several of HG's classmates were in attendance, and I enjoy connecting with their parents.

I'm writing about the visit because it is the kind of thing we Waldorf families go nuts for. It was outside, it was smelly, it was muddy, and it was hands-on. Who goes to visit a farm when there's a foot of snow on the ground, it's kinda raining, and it's 37 degrees outside? We do!

HG taking a turn at turning the newest compost.
Earth Care Farm is most known for their compost production. They take all of the manure from the Roger Williams Zoo in Providence! They have gigantic piles of compost almost as big as a house and an employee known as the "compost manager." I think he spends his entire day driving the front loader around and turning the piles.

The seagulls are after the bits of clam meat and other ocean goodies the farm receives for its compost.

All that foggy stuff is steam. I learned today that the inside of a compost pile reaches about 160 degrees. That's the heat produced by the microorganisms eating and and being eaten inside the pile. It takes about a year for the zoo animal manure and everything else to break down into garden-ready compost. The benefits of using compost in your garden rather than artificial fertilizers are significant. AM did a science experiment a couple of years ago where she grew plants in different media. The plants in organic compost won.

I liked the compost piles the best, but we also saw a week-old angus calf, some piglets, and even a tiny little garlic shoot coming up.
The cow shelter (the calf is hiding inside).
I didn't realize until the end of the visit that we were under surveillance.

The spotted piglets are actually called "Cheetah Pigs."

Farmer Jayne's glove is pointing to the tiny little garlic shoot.
At the end, we enjoyed the cookies and the story. Thanks to all the farmers for getting us outside and giving us such a great time.

Please share any ideas you may have for getting out in the cold and wet!  I know we'd all appreciate more thoughts, as one can play chutes and ladders for only so long!

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Look at how adorable those piglets are, all with their tiny snouts and tiny hooves! I wonder if you had a hard time trying not to pick them up and cuddle? Hahaha! Anyway, I think it's adventurous of you and your family to have gone out and visited a farm when it was deep into the snow. There is absolutely no other way you could've gone and enjoyed that day better. Thanks for sharing and take care!

    Darren Lanphere @ Mirr Ranch Group