Field Trips at Sunrise Community Farm
Field trips at Sunrise CFC follow a tour-like, interactive and experiential approach around the farm, beginning at the Pavilion. Groups may arrive early to be prepared and adjusted to the farm environment before activities begin. Large classes may be split into two groups, or four groups, and smaller groups may stay together for the duration of the time. Groups all begin together, and may then be separated into smaller groups before moving off for different experiences.
The Sunrise Community Farm Center is designed as a model of a sustainable family farm. To be sustainable, the family had to get everything they needed from the land they were on, and had to exist with it and the plants and animals in partnership.
At Sunrise, we’re going to show you a model of a farm like this, so you’ll see what farmers might have been doing a hundred or two hundred years ago. They would pick garden vegetables to eat or store, and feed the weeds and parts that people did not want, to the animals. The animals in turn provided them with additional food (through eggs, milk or meat) their manure was composted to become fertilizer for the garden soil, and in the case of horses, additional power (horse-power), transportation, and companionship was provided. The animals also taught them kindness, patience, bravery and confidence.
Your tour will be provided by the people who work here on the farm and take care of it. We refer to them as Mentors. They work in partnership with the land and animals, and can tell you the most about it. In the days before everyone could attend school, people learned their skills from their Mentors (usually a family member or close friend). Children had very important jobs on the old family farm. You will get to try out some of these jobs. Our mentors will help coach you and guide you through the farm experience.
What we harvest largely depends on the time of year. We will get to practice some of the jobs that kids would have had on the family farm. We will harvest some animal food (weeds or produce that humans don't want) and some food for people (edible produce). We will then feed the animal food to the animals!
Animals are great teachers! Animals cannot speak, but they respond to body language and tone of voice. People, even very small people, are so much larger than chickens, bunnies, and our pigs. To these smaller animals, a child is giant, and scary! Sometimes, the child is afraid of the small animals as well, and this is ok. We will help them become braver and also teach them how to have the small animals trust them. Our small animals are great for teaching kids what "calm" is. A chicken or bunny will not let you touch it if you are not calm.
We partner with chickens and other poultry for their eggs and for their meat. They partner with us for food and protection from predators. Poultry also eat the weeds and bugs and the grubs out of the dirt, and fertilize it by adding their poop.
Horses and humans have been partners for a very very long time and the bond between the two makes both better, stronger, faster and smarter! Horses teach us the CRAFTS of Partnership:
Horses communicate through pressure, which is what we call "body language" in people. We respect the horse, so we don't hurt, scare or threaten. We acknowledge when the horse does something that we requested, by removing the pressure. Horses groom each other to establish friendship. We groom horses to let them know that we are their friends (you will get to groom a horse). Trust is essential to partnership, so consistency is important as well as setting good boundaries so that the horse knows what to do and feels safe and confident (and so do you.) You will get a chance to ride on a horse and experience the partnership yourself!
If you are interested in scheduling a field trip
We typically offer field trips on weekdays from 10 am -12:30 pm
Please schedule at least 1 month in advance so that we can guarantee availability.
$50 deposit required at time of scheduling
$120 for up to 10 participants. $12 per each additional participant.
For inquiries please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
or call us at 919-968-8581
General Schedule Format
Arrive at 9:45am
Begin at 10 am in the pavilion for an introductory talk.
10 am -10:30am Garden
10:30am - 11 am Small animals
11 am-12 pm Horses