Annie, just a thought...

triciaeFebruary 15, 2012

I know I write about this place a lot but I really believe in what they're doing & am happy our school district believes in them also. Anyway, I received this email today from Terra Firma Farm & thought of you & Elery. You love kids & you love the farm & you love gardening & you love cooking. Would something like this be a way to make your retirement farm a paying enterprise? Terra Firma Farm has a contract with our school district. The kids participate on the farm during the school year & the farm offers summer programs. Here's the email I just received as food for thought.

"Terra Firma Farm Summer Camps 2012

In This Issue

Ages 3,4,& 5

Ages 6-12

Terra Firma Farm

2012 Summer Camp Registration & Information

Summer Sprouts:

Sprouts 1: June 18 - June 21

Sprouts 2: June 25- June 28

Sprouts 3: July 9- July 12

Sprouts 4: July 16 - July 19

Sprouts 5: July 30 - August 2

Sprouts 6: August 6 - August 9

Sprouts 7: August 13 - August 16

Sprouts 8: August 20 - August 23

Summer Farmers:

Farm Friends: June 18- June 22

Roots Shoots: June 25- June 29

Cows, Sheep.: July 9- July 13

Summer Survival: July 23- July 27

Farm Food: July 30-August 3

Country Fair: August 6- August 10

Farm to Pizza: August 13- August 16

Harvest Feast: August 20- August 24

We realize that while most children are not going to grow up to be farmers, they will be the next generation of stewards of the land. This season our summer programs are designed to provide children ages 3-12 with hands-on experiences in the many facets of a working farm. Whether it be our preschool age Sprouts; elementary youngsters in our weekly camps sessions, or Farmers- For- A-Day program, each child will be an active participant in the daily routines of the farm. With the guidance of our counselors and farm staff, they will:

� Care for a diverse selection of animals

� Engage in the growing cycle by planting, nurturing, harvesting and preparing food from our garden

� Participate in group activities which emphasize hands-on investigations to explore deeper the cycles of life

Working on a farm requires team work which fosters the values of:

Cooperation, Respect & Responsibility

Our lessons aim to increase awareness and practical knowledge of the:

� Interconnectedness of all living things

� Meaning of sustainable agriculture

� Heritage breeds of animals

� Vegetable varieties and heirlooms;

� Benefits of local agriculture;

� Cycles of farm life;

� Habits of eating healthy

Camp Groups:

Summer Sprouts

Ages 3,4 &5

This camp is designed for our 3, 4, & 5 year old sprouting farmers. Children will be involved in animal care activities, meeting the new farm arrivals, nature walks, and wildlife observation. These day camps are offered to teach responsibility and kindness for the farm, each other and our environment. Each day is planned for our Sprouting Farmers and offers an excellent hands-on opportunity for exploration and growth. Note: This camp runs Monday- Thursday from 9-noon.

Sprouts 1: June 18th - June 21st

Sprouts 2: June 25th - June 28th

Sprouts 3: July 9th - July 12th

Sprouts 4: July 16th - July 19th

Sprouts 5: July 30th - August 2nd

Sprouts 6: August 3 - August 5th Sprouts 6: August 6th - August 9th

Sprouts 7: August 13th - August 16th Sprouts 8: August 20th - August 23rd

Summer Farmers & Growers Ages 6-12

At the Terra Firma Farm's Summer Day Camp, kids have fun while they learn about ecology, the environment, and the plants and animals we depend on for food and clothing. Campers will develop a stronger connection to the farm and the origin of their food through the week's activities. Each session offers different activities that are based on the week's themes, but every week will include garden work, games, and cooking projects, crafts, science activities, and (of course) farm chores. During farm chores we care for the pigs, sheep, goats, chickens, cows, donkeys, and all their young!!

Typical Day for Campers:

9 Check- in 9-10:15 Chores

10:15-10:30 Snack 10:30-12 Farm Activity

12-1 Lunch and Recreation Time

1-3:30 Discovery Time and Activities

Farm Friends- June 18th- June 22nd

Walk in the footsteps of a farmer for a week, and experience what it takes to be a good farmer and naturalist. Through a variety of activities, campers will learn about animal care and the products animals provide to us.

� Adopt a lamb or kid and learn how to care for it, and teach it to walk with you on a halter.

� Discover the ways of the farm through a scavenger hunt.

Roots, Shoots & Muddy Boots- June 25th - June 29th

Summer is a busy time at Terra Firma Farm! Take part in the fun and spend the week becoming a farm expert.

� Become friends with our chickens and their eggs.

� Get hands-on in the garden, and help make sure we will have plenty of food at harvest time.

Cows, Sheep and Goats.. oh my - July 9th-July 13th

Put down your garden trowel this week because we are going to focus on the animals..all of them. Terra Firma is home to some of the friendliest farm animals around. Each day will focus activities around a new farm friend.

� We will halter train new lambs and kids.

� Try our luck at some goat plop bingo!

Chicks, Chickens, Roosters and Ducks -July 16th - July 20th

The farm is home to over 1000 chicks, ducks, hens and roosters!! Come and meet our flock, help us welcome some new hatchlings and explore the world of farmyard feathered friends! We will even bathe the chickens!

� Watch and wait with excitement as chicks and ducklings hatch in the incubators.

� Refill nesting boxes & collect the dozens of eggs laid by the hens

Summer Survival Skills! - July 23rd - July 27th

Come to Terra Firma Farm and learn skills on how to survive living off the earth. NOTE: This camp includes an overnight from Thursday to Friday, and will end at 10AM on Friday.

� Cook over a fire you helped build.

� Spend one night in a tent and learn some constellations.

Farm Food- July 30th - August 3rd

The end of the summer is a great time to be on a farm. All the food is becoming ripe and ready to eat. What do we do with all of it? We will spend take all the fresh veggies we've grown and turn them into tasty treats- we'll spend the days creating and eating. And, of course, there's always ice cream!

� Make tasty pickles from the farm's garden.

� Make homemade butter for our fresh bread from grain you grind yourself.

Country Fair- August 6th - August 10th

Everyone loves a Country Fair! Campers will put together a good old fashioned country fair. On Friday, parents and friends will be invited to enjoy all of our hard work.

� Exhibit crafts we made

� Work with and show off the farm animals

� Sample homemade farm foods

Farm to Pizza - August 13th- August 17th

Build your own pizza completely from scratch! Put on a chef hat in our kitchen and muck boots out on the farm. Gather fresh ingredients from the farmyard and the gardens! On Friday we will celebrate with a Farm Pizza Party!!

� Harvest vegetables and prepare sauce, taste herbs and toppings

� Starting with fresh milk learn how cheese is made.

Harvest Feast- August 20th - August 24th

The summer is winding down and you know there will be plenty of food to harvest! Enjoy a smorgasbord of cooking and eating during this week! We will be making all sorts of tasty treats, including of course, ice cream!!

� Harvest fresh veggies from the garden and set up our own Farm Stand

� Help extend the harvest by canning and preserving our produce"

Sounds like fun, a way to provide a few jobs to local teenagers (help to keep the kids under control) plus make a few bucks to cover the cost of the farm/animals.

Just a thought...I understand it may not work for everybody. Sorry if there are a few typos...the email did not wish to copy easily.


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What an amazing sounding program! I wish we had something like that near us....


    Bookmark   February 15, 2012 at 10:03PM
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I had already explored ta similar possibility here, Tricia, but first I'd have to live on the farm, which isn't going to happen for a couple more years. Michigan State University has a couple of somewhat similar programs, not surprising since they were the first Agricultural College in the United States.

According to them it appears that it would not work here in my area at this time, due to many factors, including that our new Governor in his infinite wisdom has decided that teachers are an unfortunately necessary evil who are overcompensated in every way. School funding has been slashed and some are in such financial difficulties that they are being taken over by the Governor's "financial managers". Even University funds have been constricted and no new programs are being approved at this time.

The second factor is that a large percentage of school age children in my county and the surrounding counties are farm kids, so going to "camp" doing something that they have to do everyday in the form of chores isn't a big draw.

Finally, somewhere over 50% of the county's children are living at poverty level, so there's no extra money for camp, even if they wanted to go, and there are no funds to help due to factor #1.

And, although I love Bud and Makayla and Madison, I'm really too impatient to deal with children on a large scale, LOL.

It's also been mentioned that I might open a farmer's market, especially now that Michigan has passed the Cottage Food law, which would allow me to sell baked goods, jams, etc. in addition to garden products. MSU does have an incubator kitchen in the next county which is commercially approved, so a person could produce a product and sell it and MSU will help with marketing. That might work too.

But first I've gotta live there...


    Bookmark   February 15, 2012 at 10:18PM
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Annie the Farmers Market being able to sell some of your homemade goodies would go over huge. I bet it would take a couple of weeks and then they would be lining up with "We Want Annies" signs... "riot at the the farm stand"..can you just see the evening news...LOL.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 8:44AM
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Well, I'd like to think that I'd have a market but many, many people here still make and can their own stuff, so maybe, maybe not.

I still think I should start a weight-loss boot camp type class. Come and get my garden hoed, tilled and mulched, my apples picked and pressed, my barn cleaned and my hay in. Lose weight, get in shape. I'll sit here with a glass of iced tea and supervise. (grin) no slacking allowed...


    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 11:20AM
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