As a new element to our Outdoor Education program this year, the Seventh Grade spent four days downstate near Poughkeepsie at Sprout Creek Farm. This farm is where faculty member Chris Hartman worked for several years after graduating from Vassar College. He was the farm supervisor, which included everything from moving fences, feeding and caring for the livestock, milking the cows and goats, and overseeing the garden and all educational aspects of the working farm.
The addition of this trip to the Seventh Grade was a natural link to the Harley Micro Farm and organic garden, and an extension of the work that our students have already been involved in as part of their classes, clubs and flex time. For some of these students, it was their first time to get up close and personal with cows, goats, donkeys, chickens and more! Their days were filled with chores and lessons to support this working dairy farm committed to local, organic agriculture. For a closer look at the programs and products from this exceptional place, check out http://www.sproutcreekfarm.org/
The following are some photos of our students and their teachers in action:
THE BEAUTIFUL SETTING:
THE COWS–MILKING AND IN THE FIELD:
CLEAN UP CHORES:
FEEDING AND TENDING:
SHEEP AND DONKEYS:
EXPLORING THE MEADOWS AND CREEK:
THE GOATS-MILKING AND PLAYING:
As a follow-up to their time at Sprout Creek Farm, the students wrote about their experiences. Their impressions and insights are both humorous and touching. You can read a sample of some of them below.