6th Grade Farm Trip
This year’s 6th Grade Farm Trip opened a whole new world for several students, and welcomed veteran outdoor participants back to the field. Several sixth graders experienced their first night sleeping in a tent, first visit to a farm, and first time making s’mores! Veterans helped newcomers learn to set up tents, cook on a camp stove, and predict an impending rainstorm. And not one student let the rain dampen his or her spirits!
We began our adventure on a sunny Friday morning. All nineteen middle school students and four upper school student chaperones loaded their gear onto the bus and we drove thirty-five minutes west to Duyck's Peachy Pig Farm. We rolled past cornfields, pumpkin patches, and rambling farm houses, and chickens and a llama greeted us as we pull into the Peachy Pig Farm parking area.
The first items on our agenda included taking an exploratory walk around the eighty acre farm and eating lunch at the top of the hazelnut orchard. We passed apple trees, pear trees, eggplant bushes, and pepper plants en route to our picnic spot. After lunch, students ran relay races in the orchard and learned how to identify poison oak.
Next, we went back down near the farmhouse and set up tents and played some team building challenge games. Who knew that guiding a carabiner along a rope in the shape of a spiderweb could be so difficult?! Students practiced listening to each other, trading off leadership roles, and maintaining patience in order to solve the challenge.
The rest of our evening included farm chores such as collecting nuts and raking leaves, picking produce for our pasta dinner, and cooking an incredible meal from scratch. Almost everyone agreed that the eggplant, pepper, squash, and tomato sauce we'd worked together to cook tasted ten times better than anything store-bought. We capped off the evening with songs and s'mores around the campfire, and tucked each other into bed just before the rain arrived.
In the morning, we awoke and celebrated one students' birthday with fresh berry pancakes and whip cream. Several students tried Spam for their first times, and liked it! We carved pumpkins, cuddled with baby farm, packed up our tents, thanked Gary and Sally--our farm hosts, and made our way back to school--muddy but happy!