Gale Woods Farm Training

Ever since I started work at Carpenter Nature Center (CNC) a couple of weeks ago, there’s been an emphasis on hands on learning. With that in mind members of the education staff piled in the van, and headed to Gale woods Farm for naturalist training.

Once at the farm, we began the training by hearing about their history and programs. As part of the Three Rivers Park District, the farm has opportunities for recreation, but also education.

When we learned about the farm’s programs, we split into three groups. After hearing about the farm, we were eager to see everything. The first place we stopped was the orchard. Since the farm is moving toward organic farming, we had fun seeing the chickens that keep the pests down. Although they’ve had a lot of pest problems in the past, it was interesting to hear their creative solutions.

The chickens in the orchard.

The chickens in the orchard.

Next, we visited the jersey calves. With only one heifer, the farm had an interesting dilemma. All the calves were friendly, but only the female had a name. As children worked with the calves during the summer, they would also need to know the realities of a working farm, as not all the calves would be around by the end of the summer.

All the calves were curious.

All the calves were curious.

After visiting the calves, we moved on to the sheep. It was fun to see how friendly each one was, and the different colors of each sheep. Latter we learned that the sheep are used for their wool, and the breeding that they’ve done to continue to perfect the quality. I enjoyed hearing how adaptable they were in their programs, and how creative they were in their solutions.

The sheep were many colors.

The sheep were many colors.

The last place we toured was their tunnel. It was a bit like a green house, but the plants were growing from the ground rather than in pots. It was a way to grow more plants each year, and seemed to be working well for them.

I thought the tunnel was creative.

I thought the tunnel was creative.

During our visit, I was impressed with the creativeness of the farm. They had a lot of programs, and it seemed like a great opportunity for the surrounding community to get involved with sustainability. I was glad I got to go, and hope I am able to do similar trainings during the summer.

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