Farm life is about as experiential as it comes. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't find myself, feeding an animal, wrestling with broken equipment, or chasing an escapee back in. It's as real as it gets.... Always an adventure and never a dull moment.
With all these experiences come an education. I am learning everyday what to do, or more importantly what not to do sometimes. Just the other day I learned the hard way just how overprotective #115 Highland Cow as she lunged at me causing me to quickly scamper up and over the corral. Being that it isn't my first rodeo with this, I know enough to always have a way out . The lesson learned was simple... pay attention, be mindful and always watch your back when #115 is near.
Raising kids on a farm has been also an experience for them. My 3 children have raised bottle babies, driven tractors, trucks & trailers. They all have flipped burgers, work with customers, & given tours. They have grown up with love of learning, growing and evolving. I have loved having my children involved & they all continue to help in different ways. My oldest helps me with bookkeeping, and marketing, my middle is more focused on animal care by helping to give shots and draw blood for pregnancy testing (she is also an exceptional truck & trailer driver) and the youngest helps to feed the animals and has started his own Compost business & is learning all the ins and outs of why selling $50 of compost doesn't mean he personally gets $50... much to his disappointment. Yup, real life stuff. I don't think I even know how much they have learned on the farm and how it much it relates to navigating life our there.
Over the last couple of weeks, we have hosted a couple of school groups. A local homeschool group joined us to learn about life on the farm, the animals and the products we create. Proctor Academy students and faculty helped clean up the farm in an effort to protect our planet on Earth Day. Kids were laughing, working, getting their hands dirty. Lugging brush, blowing leaves, raking, planting and various other things. We LOVED seeing them so happy about the work. We LOVED exposing them to farming and foods and why it is so important to protect our environment, animals and the foods we eat.
We are excited to offer more schools and students the opportunities to come get their hands dirty and learn about the importance of farming. We need future generations to share in the passion and purpose that holistic agriculture offers. Our Experiential Education Opportunities are growing and we are excited about our offerings and Educational Coordinator, Casey Starr! Stay tuned for more to come....