Friday, September 30, 2016

Lessons From Our Flock

When asked "Why do you have chickens at a school?", I can give several answers. Our poultry program has been at our school for the past 4 years. They continue to be the highlight of farm visits during school and after school. Chickens teach us how to care for animals. They teach us about cycles. We have rules and procedures in place and the kids learn why those are important. Our flock teaches us many life lessons as well. Chickens have a pecking order or a boss of the coop. They also have one that is at the bottom of the order, who is picked on. Think- Sibling order.., its the same with chickens. 
Here are some thoughts that were created from observing feathered friends.
Fine feathers don't mean you can fly.
Don't count your chickens before they've hatched
Chick flick
Caught with egg on your face
Rule the roost
Top of the flock
Quit your squawking 
Fussing like an old hen
Wake up with the chickens
Fly the coop
Yolks on you
Feather your nest
Don't put all your eggs in one basket
Mother hen
Madder than a wet hen
Stick your neck out
Ruffle your feathers
Bird brain
Strutting your stuff
Bad egg/Good egg
Being "chicken"

This week we learned about many chicken terms, body parts of chickens, breeds, egg colors and characteristics of our flock. Our 6th graders learned about marketing and the power of words. They can talk to you about "cage free", "free range" and "pasture raised" eggs. If you want the best eggs for your family, they have the answer and the reason.

Check out the different combs that are represented in our coop. We have a Rose Comb, Pea Comb and Single Comb. Pretty cool science lessons!

 Stop by and see them for yourself. You will be in love too!

Ask your kids about their farm lesson this week. It was great!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Fall Planting 2016

As the season shifts from Summer to Fall, the temperatures are still high and we can only dream about cooler weather to come our way.  Even though the heat is up, t is time to plant our cool season crops, so all the kids dug in to plant kale, lettuce, swiss chard, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, greens, shallots and brussels sprouts. Our farm is a place where we work together, take turns, share and help each other out. Every time the kids come out, I see examples of this. Most times, lessons will connect to classroom content, but this week we were in the business of learning to work with each other and the soil, and it all kicked off with our 5th Annual Green Apple Day of Service. Over 100 people from our community, as well as the Metroplex came out to dig in.

After the workday, we got busy planting our crops.


Did you know that our 6th grade kids operate a small business? They grow and package specialty herbs that are sold at the Dallas Farmers Market. At the end of the week, the herbs are donated to a WIC food bank. This week some student interns learned about quality control and packaging.

At Round Up, we learned the names of our new chickens. Meet the girls!
Betty Jr.
 Kylo Hen
 Luke Skywalker


The chickens bring the magic and the best in all of us!