Hoeing, sowing, singing and springing: April Vacation Camp at Morris Farm

Posted:  Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - 7:45am
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Peter Lammert demonstrates the bee smoker. Courtesy photo

“One, two, three … Hay away!” shouted the team of 5- and 6-year-old farmers-in-training as they pushed a hay bale down the chute in Morris Farm’s barn. Resident farmer Hannah Court, stacking the bales below to feed her calves, hollered up to the willing workers, “Ok, ready for another!”

These were the sounds of work, play, and learning during Morris Farm’s winter vacation camp. The educational farm in Wiscasset is gearing up to host spring vacation camp next week, April 18-21. Kids ages 5-12 (grades K-6) will once again have the opportunity to adventure outdoors, exploring the plants and animals on Morris Farm’s 50-acre campus. Each day will highlight an animal and a visit from a local farmer.

An impressive line-up of skilled farmers visited the farm during winter vacation camp. Johanna Davis and Adam Nordell of Birdsong Farm in Unity displayed the heirloom grains they grow and let campers have a hand at shelling Abenaki flint corn. Davis and Nordell, also folk musicians, played “Cluck Old Hen” and called a contra dance for the circle of campers. Megan Phillips, farm manager at Chewonki, guided the camp through an ethological study, observing chicken behavior in the hen house. State beekeeper of the year, Peter Lammert, and Sandra Panati let campers in on the secret life of bees, allowing the children to test smokers and don bee suits. Neighbor to Morris Farm, Dylan Young, brought over his goats for kids to meet kids. Morris Farm’s own Hannah Court of Wandering Root Farm completed the week by letting campers bottle feed a calf.

Spring and winter vacation camps return to Morris Farm after a seven-year hiatus. “So many folks have generously given their time and talents to the farm over the past twenty years, from farming to teaching to mending fences and playing music,” says Lisa Packard, the new farm educator. “I am honored to bring back traditions like winter and spring farm camp.”

Spring vacation camp will offer another exciting line-up of guest farmers. Jeff and Amy Burchstead of Buckwheat Blossom Farm in Wiscasset will kick off the week on April 18 demonstrating sheep shearing and spinning.

Tuition for spring vacation camp is $155 for members, $180 for non-members. Families can also register their children for individual days. Child care is available 3:30-4:30 p.m. and scholarships granted to those in need. To register for Farm Camp or for more information, go to www.morrisfarm.org, call 882-4080, or contact Lisa Packard at FarmEducator@morrisfarm.org