Archive for the ‘Tours’ Category
Today a busload of teachers visited the farm. The local Farm Bureau sponsors the event.
It was part of a tour educating teachers about different types of farms.
Although we only had a short time, Linda ushered them around the farm to tell the story of local agriculture.
They were lucky to get in safely – the driver cut the corner a bit close and dropped down three feet into the ditch and bottomed out the bus.
This week we dragged about 24 members of the Ecological Design class in the Landscape Architecture program at Iowa State around the farm.
We held them hostage for about two hours, showing the various design and microclimate principles we’ve managed to implement on the farm. One interesting comment we received was that the farm was much smaller than they envisioned after visiting the blog and web site. We attributed the mismatch in reality/perception was due to the fact that the farm is so diverse and has so many different small enterprises that it must be large to contain so much diversity. But believe us, tending 7 acres intensively with the numbers of different crops we have, makes it seem like much more than 7 acres to us as well!
This week a livestock class from MCC visited our farm as part of a day-long tour of many different types and sizes of livestock farms. We’re the token small, diversified farm on the tour.
Here they are looking at an artifact from an unusual type of livestock – a partially filled frame from honey bees.
High Hopes Gardens had another inquiry regarding the wind turbine. A former real estate agent from Des Moines is branching out to be a “green consultant” whereby she can offer advice and research to consumers regarding real “green” products and “greenwashing. Part of her education is to do some research concerning quality and reputation of green products and installers.
She was curious to see and hear our impressions of the service and abilities or our wind turbine installer. She was very pleased to hear of our experiences and can use them to help guide others.
This week we hosted tours from the 7th grade at West Marshall Middle School. It was ag day and they split into four groups and toured four local farms in rotation. We were glad to be included in the day. The tours lasted from 20 to 45 minutes depending how on schedule the groups were in arriving and departing.
This was the 2nd group standing near a garden near the wind turbine. We emphasized diversity, how we use science to try to mimic natural systems, and depending on the available time tasted berries, smelled compost, smelled herbs, and talked a bit about our farm businesses.
Today we had some students from a livestock class tour the farm. It sounds like a fun class – the students tour dairy, elk, goat, and a wide range of common and uncommon livestock farms.
We fit into the small and diversified category. Here, I am getting ready to demonstrate how owl hoots get the turkeys to gobble and fluff up their feathers.
I still remember when I learned this trick from a turkey hunter when I had a summer job at the Story County Conservation Board. I didn’t believe “Joe” when he said, he could make wild turkeys gobble. So one day when we drove down a gravel road into a small timbered valley, he stopped the truck, stuck his head out the window and gave some owl hoots, and out of the woods, came the turkey alarms. I didn’t think there were any wild turkeys living there, let alone that he could get them to talk. It even works on domestic turkeys. I guess the owls are one of the turkey’s enemies and if they hear an owl, they set out the alarm.
Linda was asked to give a presentation to the Marshalltwon Garden Club, so she snuck out of school (didn’t really have to sneak) and gave a presentation over lunch, then that evening offered a tour of the farm.
Here, they are gathered around the paw-paw tree, just one of the off-beat plantings at high hopes gardens. About 25 folks made the drive out here, including some neighbors who I’m sure where just plain curious about some of the things we are doing. It was a nice group of people who have an understanding of how things work (or don’t) out in the field.
This morning, for the last time, for a long time, the sound of roosters crowing woke me up at 3:30 am. about 45 minutes later, with a view of an orangish-pink setting moon, I drove to the locker to bring half of our chickens. On the way home, the sun was rising. GJ came out and since these chickens were for us, we cut up most of them and froze them.
In the afternoon we had another farm tour with students from MCC as part of a livestock class. We were also recorded and captured on video for possible future classes.
Here a student tries to milk!
Yesterday we had about 25 students from the Master’s Program in Sustainable Agriculture from ISU visit our farm as part of a tour of Marshall County. They also visited Linda and the farm/program at MCC and some beginning Hispanic farmers.
We started in the barn as it was a rare rainy day!
We walked around the farm for a little show and tell. It was a diverse group – ag, sociology, and business majors. Students were from South Africa, Uruguay, Pennsylvania, California, Illinois, Texas, Iowa, and Minnesota. Lots of interesting questions and perspectives.
This Friday and Saturday there will be footage from our farm on “Market to Market” on Iowa Public Television Friday at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday at 12:30.
Here’s the cover of the insert section of Sunday’s Marshalltown paper.
Don’t those chicks look cute! The writer found us via our web site/blog and wanted a local story about chickens. He came out, took a few pictures and talked to us a while and did a good job on the reporting.
There are lots of color pictures in the story as well. As if this wasn’t enough, the front page of the paper had another article about the Sustainable and Entrepreneurial program at MCC.
This morning we hosted four groups of West Marshall 6th graders for a farm tour on Ag Day.
The kids pile off the bus, ready for a farm tour.
I’m not sure what has so captivated everyone’s attention (except Martin’s), but it sure looks interesting!
We set up a hay wagon with all the things we sell at the Farmer’s Market and/or have made for ourselves – dried flowers, bouquets, vegetables, sheepskins, honey and candles, etc.
Linda was miked the whole time and film rolled the entire time the tour was on. The film crew was from Iowa Public Television – we’ll keep you posted when and if we make a program.
We feel good about sharing our farm with the kids – they get to sample real apples and raspberries, see where eggs come from, learn about local food systems and how people on diversified farms plan and manage the interrelationships between crops and animals.