After looking over our itinerary I noticed that we were
going to visit a farm. That’s
great, I like farms. But Sprout
Creek Farm is no common farm. Yes,
they have cows, goats and chickens.
Sure, they make cheese from milk and gather the multicolored eggs. Yes, they have gardens that grow
seasonal vegetables and trees that grow fruits. But where they differ from other farms is that they allow
you to participate in the experience.
Sprout Creek Farm is not only a working farm but also an educational center
that offers programs for children and adults. Through these programs children learn all about life on the
farm, by living it firsthand. They
will be able to feed and milk the cows and goats. Gather eggs from the hens. Harvest vegetables from the garden. All the while learning cooperation,
recycling and ecology in the guise of good, clean fun. Well, sometimes not so
The programs are age
appropriate and run in the summer and also throughout the school year. Sprout Creek Farm has a relationship
with many schools all over the country.
Margo met us at the market where they sell cheese and other
products. Through a window in the
door between the barn and the market we could see the cows, along with a mom
and a new calf, born that morning.
The tour began with us
walking around the farm and some of the gardens. We walked over to the
“cottage” which can be used by parents whose children are taking part in one of
the longer programs. The cottage can also be rented by the week for those
looking for an unusual getaway.
The inside is clean and simple but comfortable.
As we walked around the
farm, Margo pointed out a structure made out of branches that were hand shaped,
this was made by the teenagers during one of their stays. During this project they had to learn
to measure, shape, and cooperate with each other to complete the project. The
complete pergola is quite impressive, with vines planted around it to and
benches for sitting and taking in the view on a clear, warm day.
As we passed the patio area
we saw the orchard of pear trees (I love to see pears hanging from a tree, they
look so cute!), but this orchard had a special significance: it was donated by
a family of a young man who died before he could fulfill his dream of being an organic
At the far
end of the farm was the hen house which houses different breeds of chickens. I
noticed an Americana hen, the ones that colored eggs: different shades of blues
We also took a trip to the goat barn and the cow barn where
were we saw that it was milking/feeding time.
In the garden area, participants will learn how to grow
vegetables for the right time of year, how to start seeds and even how to cook
and preserve the vegetables that grow on the farm. One program offers third graders where they grow vegetables
and tend them. By the end of program they are in 4th grade and
harvest the vegetable to make soup.
Gardening is fickle.
Sometimes you have lots of greens and sometimes all that survives is
root vegetables. The kids make soup out of whatever is available, another life
Back at the market we could view them making cheese and got
a rundown on the types available culminating in a cheese tasting.
To receive more information
about the programs at Sprout Creek Farm you can call or go to their website.