Saturday, March 8, 2014

Sustainable Saturday - Got Farm?

How do children in an urban area in upstate New York learn about farming?

The farmers come to them, and hold a Farm Day at the local indoor shopping mall.

When we got there about 4pm, children were having a fun time interacting with 4H participants, a local locavore store, and various farmers.  One wool producer had a "lamb to loom" demonstration. (Due to the crowds, I only took limited photos).

One participant was helping children make simple bird feeders.  A couple of others were showing children how to plant seeds in little pots, which they got to take with them.
There were, of course, chickens.

And chicks.
A couple of booths were promoting maple products.  Our area does produce maple syrup, and, later this month, those farms will be having open houses.

There were alpacas, and a lot of rabbits.  Tractors and other farm equipment.

And, the bane of every upstate New York farmer....
Alligators?

OK, we don't have alligators here, at least native ones.  I won't complain.

I have some mixed feeling about these kind of exhibits, believe it or not.  Late winter is a good time for farmers, but I do have concerns about having children pet chicks, chickens (I saw both activities available) and even rabbits, this close to Easter.  There are good ways for children to interact with animals and, yes, to lose fear of them. But showing farm animals as "cute"?   That is something different.

Having children interact with local farmers - that always is a good idea.

I grew up in New York City, and was actually able to interact with farm animals at - the Bronx Zoo.  Perhaps I should blog about that one day.

I would have loved a mall Farm Day in my childhood.

Have you ever taken a child to an event like this? Or participated in one?

2 comments:

  1. For several years we used to have our summer vacation at a working farm in downstate Illinois that had a number of guest cabins. The kids were taken around to collect eggs in the hen house and feed the cows and horses. It was a good experience for the kids and very relaxing for the adults.

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  2. Love the "lamb to loom", lol... very creative... Cute 'lil gator!

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