We have taught after school programs called “Spring on the Farm” and “Fall on the Farm”, which are affiliated with Osborn Hill Elementary School. In this 7 week course, kids in grades 1-5, come to Jelly Hell Farm and learn about how to care for chickens, large farm animals, bunnies, and domestic animals, too. There is a week on birding and another to take a walk through our woods to see what we can find. We do some gardening and planting, understand how our pollinators are so important to us and our plants and what we can do to help them, and learn about how everything in our environment is interconnected… and most all, how we impact everything around us.
Each semester at the end of Jelly Hill Farm class, we read the ending of our favorite book, The Lorax, by Dr. Suess, to the kids. “UNLESS someone like YOU cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not. So… Catch calls the Once-ler. He let’s something fall. It’s a Truffula Seed. It’s the last one of all! You’re in charge of the last of the Truffula Seeds. And Truffula Trees are what everyone needs. Plant a new Truffula. Treat it with care. Give it clean water. And feed it fresh air. Grow a forest. Protect it from axes that hack. Then the Lorax and all his friends may come back.”
We tell the kids we teach, that they can plant all the seeds they want. They can be in charge. They can help feed the birds that help spread seeds. They can help make decisions about not using fertilizers and pesticides to help the honey bees. And on and on. They can make all the difference in the world. Right in their own backyard.