Shelburne Farms ABCs of Education

I recently had the pleasure of photographing the Shelburne Farms ABCs of Farm-Based Education program. About thirty educators traveled from their farms all across the country to learn about and share best practices from the fantastic educators at the farm. I spent part of three days with the group and really enjoyed both the people and the content – it was fascinating with tons of great ideas for activities shared.

I started on Friday at the Market Garden – a seven acre vegetable garden that supplies a lot of the produce to the Inn. Throughout the year school groups come to the Market Garden to learn all about the process of gardening and what plants need to survive. The Farm educators took the group through some of their favorite teaching activities.
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Later that afternoon after a yummy lunch the group gathered to brainstorm ideas about activities involving gardening across all subject matters – SO many great ideas came from it!

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Later that afternoon the educators demoed some of their favorite “make and take” projects for kids including wet felting

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We started day 2 at the farmyard where this chicken greeted us!

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Chickens find the gator to be a great place to hang out!

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The daily chicken parade!

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Lunch was a delectable mac & cheese with Shelburne Farms cheddar and a mixed vegetable slaw – delicious!

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After that presentation we headed over to the dairy to meet the cows including this recently born calf King Tubby!

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Nice to meet you!

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Farmer Sam talked about the dairy program and we did some fun activities to learn about cows

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Then it was up to the lambing barn where about 40 lambs frolicked about – holy adorableness!

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On the final day sugaring was on the agenda!

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The magic happens at this time of year when the sap runs!

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I learned that you measure the diameter of a tree to figure out how many taps can safely go in and then we got to do the actual tapping

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We all took a turn tasting fresh sap and listened as it started to plunk in the bucket

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The group in front of the sugarhouse

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Dana was boiling away – did you know it takes 30-50 gallons of sap to make one gallon of maple syrup. It smelled heavenly inside!

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We got to sample the goods fresh out of the evaporator – yum.

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Before heading up to Lone Tree Hill we gathered in the woods for another activity – each person got a paint chip to carry up the hill and they had to find something that matched it – so creative and fun!

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The group on Lone Tree Hill

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WHAT a fun weekend – thanks so much to the educators for having me along!

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