Saturday, October 20, 2012

Connaught Public School visits Mariposa Farm!

On a beautiful fall day in October, 3rd and 5th grade students from Connaught Public School had the opportunity to visit Mariposa Duck and Goose Farm. Ian Walker and Suzanne Lavoie, along with their trusty crew of farm animals, hosted two classes on the farm. The day started off with a grand tour of the farm, where the students had the opportunity to see the farm's diverse vegetable gardens and meet the farm's resident ducks, geese, pigs, and horses. To the great delight of the students, they were also accompanied on their tour by Yoga, the farm's incredibly friendly and loving Jersey cow.
As a part of the tour, Ian taught the students about the tradition (often referred to as the 'three sisters') of growing sweet corn, beans, and squash together. The students then had the opportunity to help harvest butternut squash from Ian's abundant vegetable gardens. This was a special opportunity, as the kids had an absolutely amazing time, running around harvesting butternut squash, and it was also an opportunity to express their gratitude to the farm for inviting them to visit. They harvested a whole truck full of squash in about half an hour, which would have taken one farmer much longer to do!

After harvesting the squash, the high quality squash was separated from the lower quality squash, and the students got to feed some squash to the pigs! They were amazed at how quickly the pigs gobbled up the squash, and how much they enjoyed it. It was one more lesson for them on how, on a farm, everything can have a use, and nothing need be wasted.
Ian also taught the students about the importance of saving seed from the crop. The students dug around in some large squashes, and separated the flesh of the vegetable from the seeds. These seeds will then be dried and saved to plant next year.
All in all, it was an amazing day for everyone involved. Thanks to Anne Sherman and Michelle Richardson at Connaught Public School for their hard work in organizing this trip, and a huge thanks to Ian and Suzanne at Mariposa Farm!

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