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Farmstand Gossip: news and what's up next at the Farm!

Upcoming events:

Kentucky Derby Party! Saturday May 4, 2024 3:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Join us for Open Farm anytime between 10 am and 5 pm this day and stay for our Derby Party, or sign up for our Derby Party with special pricing for families (4 or more members for $30) and seniors ($5 each)! We will be celebrating this famous race with some Derby inspired decor, crafts, fun and games, food and drink! Show off your festive hats and fancy clothes just like they do on-site at the Kentucky Derby and follow the race day proceedings with us including the final race of the day, THE RUN FOR THE ROSES!

Story time with Animals: Friday, May 17, 2024 10:30-11:30 am

We will read a book, meet and interact with real farm animals, and do a simple craft! Parents/adults are free to this event. Kid participants $8 each, which includes a farm visit for them and their adult(s). You are welcome to come in as early as 10 am and stay until 12:30 to explore the farm. Add on a pony ride for an additional $10 for some extra fun!

Wine and Ride:  A special class for adults who love horses and want to spend time socializing and riding with other adults who love horses. Ages 21 and up. (bringing your own wine is optional) Friday May 24, 2024 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm 

Sunday Yoga meets at 10 am on Sundays. Come enjoy a vinyasa yoga class created for our local community. It is taught in our beautiful wooden barn. Bring your own mat, or borrow one of ours! This community style class will focus on breathing and moving together and evolve with our participants. No experience or flexibility required! There is no fee for this class, but donations are gratefully accepted at the door!

Recent Special Events: a report

Sunrise Music night on April 13th, with the band Too Much Fun was a blast! We had all the generations out, from babies to Boomers and beyond, for this family-friendly night of music and dance. If you were able to join us, thank you for coming and helping to support our local musicians! We plan to bring more great music to our community this year -- stay tuned!

Touch a Truck 2024 on Sunday April 14th was an amazing event! There were thousands of people at this event which featured all types of vehicles including helicopters! We were there with our tractor, horse trailer, Dan the pony, turkeys, chicken and bunnies! We enjoyed meeting and sharing our mobile farm with all the people who visited our area. A big shout-out to Scout Troop 39 who ran an amazing event! The scouts were also outstandingly helpful to us from the moment we arrived to the last straw of hay that we had to load back on our trailer. Thank you also to all who came out to the event in support of UNC Children's Hospital!

News from the Horse Barn:

Horses are amazing teachers! We learn so much about how to work with others, when we work with horses. We teach the CRAFTS of partnership to our students as they work together with these wonderful animals. Once you understand and implement these elements into your relationships with others, you can work together as one unit in harmony. These teaching points are the same ones being used for management training sessions in big corporations. We think it is much more fun to work with horses than sitting in a lecture hall, though.

Good news! We are adding more beginner lessons on Tuesdays starting on May 7th, 2024! Frances will be adding a 3:30 and a 4:30 beginner lesson on Tuesdays. This will be in addition to Laura's 3:30 and 4:30 lessons on Tuesdays.

We teach lessons Monday through Saturday every week! Don't forget that we have adult horsemanship offerings too!

News from the garden:

The greens are growing lushly, asparagus spears are erupting from the ground, beets and carrots are coming up, and the tomatoes have been planted (April 15 is historically the first day that you should put out your tomato plants.) The fruit trees and berry plants are setting tiny green versions of the sweet fruits that we look forward to in the warm months. The first fruits that we get will be the mulberries, strawberries and honeyberries (a relative of honeysuckle which makes a fruit that looks like a long blueberry) -- these will be ripening in the beginning of May! The blackberries and blueberries are already forming, as are figs, paw paws, plums, peaches, apples and pears! Come browse the garden and see nature's work in progress.

News from the animal barn:

The days are longer, so the birds are laying more eggs! Hens need 14-16 hours per day to lay optimally, so the winter months tend to be low on egg production. Commercial egg producers keep their laying hens in light-proof buildings and provide artificial light on an optimal cycle to produce the maximum number of eggs they can. Our hens primarily have natural lighting, so we notice a dip in production when the days get shorter. We pick up eggs every day, and every day there are some eggs in places we don't expect! It is like an Easter egg hunt every day, which is what happens when you have free roaming birds like we do. Our chickens also lay different colored eggs! We have brown, cream, blue, green, white, and speckled (the turkeys lay speckled eggs) Have you ever seen a goose egg? A goose egg on average weighs 150 grams as opposed to a chicken egg which is on average 50-70 grams. That means that one goose egg equals 3 chicken eggs! We do have some goose eggs for sale. They taste just like chicken eggs -- really, they do! We have been enjoying hard boiled eggs as a healthy after school snack in recent weeks.

From our kids programs:

Camps! We still have room in our minicamps and our summer camps! Chapel Hill Carrboro City Schools just added May 14 as a teacher workday. That means we have a minicamp on that day! Some camp days and weeks fill up faster than others, so check our sign-up page. We will update it as camp weeks/days fill and close. In our camps we experience and explore all areas of the farm. In the garden, we learn how to care for the plants that feed us and nourish us both physically and mentally. We may harvest, then use our harvest in a farm-to-table class, the enjoy "the fruits of our labor." We care for and enjoy time with our animals. Sometimes, we make treats for our animals! Horses are a part of all our programs because they are such incredible teachers and make a big difference in helping children and adults gain confidence and understanding of what it takes to be a good partner and teammate.

Junior Mentor Applications and training has started! Are you a rising 8th grader or above and are looking for an opportunity to learn leadership skills and work together on a team with older teens and adults? Have you attended our programs and always wanted to be a Junior Mentor? Junior Mentors (JMs) are similar to Counselors in Training at other camps, but we believe our training goes further. It is part of our youth leadership program which is intended to build skills needed to confidently and effectively work with and lead groups themselves. They receive specific training in a couple areas of the farm in which they have a particular interest. They are mentored and taught the core values and skills needed in order to help lead younger or less experienced children through their experiences at the farm. These skills include not only technical skills, but social skills as well. JMs also help to take care of the animals, garden, grounds and infrastructure of the farm which builds a natural sense of responsibility and ownership. JMs have reduced program fees and can earn credits towards other services or products at the farm.

Field Trips and more Field Trips!

We have enjoyed hosting a diversity of schools and groups for field trips this spring! Our field trips are a hands-on educational experience which is tailored to the age group and interests of the group. Call or email us if you are interested in setting up a field trip for your group. We are open to any age group, child or adult!

Upcoming off-site events:

We will be at the Duke Graduate School Wellness Day activities on Thursday May 4, 2024 so if you work at Duke, you might see us there on the graduate school lawn with our animals and our yoga instructor (and program director) Hope! What better way to relax and unwind after a strenuous academic run!

Friday, May 3 Check us out at Frank Porter Graham Elementary School's Copa Mundial from 5pm - 8 pm. We will be there with our animals to add to the festivities! Come out to support the school and cheer on the players as they compete for their World Cup!

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