Last year we were approached by the Culinary Institute of Canada – Holland College to see if we would be interested in assisting with first year students. Part of the curriculum for first year students is to help them learn where their food comes from. They go out and do several farm tours including Jewell’s Dairy farm, the Halibut plant and several other farms. They stop here mid to late morning and stay for over an hour. They get a tour of the farm, the greenhouses and whatever else we have going on. Usually the pigs are a big attraction, but since we don’t have them right now the warm greenhouses are the big attraction. They were out this past Tuesday when it was really cold and windy out.
We started having the students come out last spring. They were amazed by the pigs. Wanting to take them home. It was great to see their reaction. We were happy and friendly. They got to watch them chase each other around, almost like tag.
One comment we got from them on the chickens was about how healthy they looked and seem. I guess that is where the good eggs come from. Chickens being able to go in and out as they like, and peck at what is around. Not just bugs, but they get veggie scraps year round. We also have a little waste from veggie boxes, and other produce that they eat year round. Partly why sometimes a shell is a little thicker than another, it all depends on what each chicken decides to eat.
This past week when they were out, we went over greenhouse growing and winter greenhouse growing. There isn’t a whole lot to see right now except in the one greenhouse. We walked through the field for the first time, and across the creek and discussed what was still growing in the field and explained how it was still able to grow in the cold temperatures.
The students had lots of questions, and seemed really interested.
We then had three students come out on Saturday to help dig carrots. When we arranged for this it was suppose to be warm on Saturday so we thought the ground would be workable. We tried, and the ground was too hard. We couldn’t get through the top. We changed our plan, and just did some farm clean up. We cleaned up all the fencing that was used for trellising, stakes and twine that was also used for trellising from the farm side of the creek. There are still a few stakes in the ground that are frozen there. Hopefully we can get them pulled over the next few days when it warms up and is raining.
We also moved some lumber, from last year into the greenhouse with the woodstove. We won’t be using the woodstove until the spring when we start to move seedlings into it, but now we won’t be having to dig it out of the snow.
The students asked lots more questions when they were here. We served them some potato soup and fresh bread for lunch. The soup was completely made from farm products which we think the students really appreciated. We really appreciated having the students come out and volunteer on the farm. We invited them to come back anytime to continue to learn. We enjoy teaching them, especially with hands on experience. Hopefully we can start to help teach others as well.