Spring has Sprung

Spring has Sprung

Spring always brings smiles, from seeing the first Robins appear to the first flowers blooming to the smell of soil and the smell of spring rains. Spring is simply exciting. This week we were in the field and were able to accomplish quite a bit because of the cooperative weather. The soil temps are warming up. The rain, while welcome, is just enough to settle the dust.

Thank you to our neighbor, the Quinnels, for loaning us the tractor and tiller to try out. It sure was efficient and welcome pieces of equipment.

Thank you to our neighbor, Keith Quinnell, for loaning us the tractor and tiller to try out. It sure was efficient and welcome pieces of equipment.

We drug out the ends to even out the soil for a nice seed bed and seeded some of our grass field roads and pasture that needed to be replanted.

We drug out the ends to even out the soil for a nice seed bed and seeded some of our grass field roads and pasture that needed to be replanted.

We decided last year that the raised bed garden will be our carrot sampling garden for our shareholders.

We decided last year that the raised bed garden will be our carrot sampling garden for our shareholders.

We planted many crops this weekend: lettuces, spinach, kale, sugar snap peas, carrots, radishes, beets, onions, potatoes, kohlrabi, cabbages, broccoli and cauliflower.

We planted many crops this weekend: lettuces, spinach, kale, sugar snap peas, carrots, radishes, beets, onions, potatoes, kohlrabi, cabbages, broccoli and cauliflower.

Math Corner

We planted five varieties of potatoes: Yukon Gold, Kennebec, Dark Red Norland, Masquerade and Blue potatoes. We planted 20 rows with 60 per row, how many potato plants were planted? Yes, we planted 1,200 potato plants.

We planted five varieties of potatoes: Yukon Gold, Kennebec, Dark Red Norland, Masquerade and Blue potatoes. We planted 20 rows with 60 per row, how many potato plants were planted? Yes, we planted 1,200 potato plants.

Garden Science

We also were rock picking this week. We had a great question - do you have to rock pick every year? The answer is yes. Our Minnesota weather with the freezing and thawing seem to push up rocks out of the ground on a regular basis. Not all the rocks are the same. There are many different types of rocks found in Minnesota. So while picking rock can get monotonous, the types of rocks do help to make the job more like a treasure hunt.

We also were rock picking this week. We had a great question – do you have to rock pick every year? The answer is yes. Our Minnesota weather with the freezing and thawing seem to push up rocks out of the ground on a regular basis. Not all the rocks are the same. There are many different types of rocks found in Minnesota. So while picking rock can get monotonous, the types of rocks do help to make the job more like a treasure hunt.

 

 

 

 

 

Sharing our Farm Story

Sharing our Farm Story

The past few months have been filled with a variety of Agriculture in the Classroom activities. We had the pleasure of being part of the Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom farm family program and being connected to a K-3rd grade school. As part of this partnership the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and the Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom made these videos available for the school classrooms.

Seed in Need

One of the school kindergarten classroom activities included reading a Seed in Need and planting different types of potatoes.

potatoes

As part of the classroom activity, one group of the potatoes was started in soil, and another group was started with toothpicks in a cup of water with some of the potato in water. Students were to graph which potatoes started growing first and observe the differences. The potatoes have since been transplanted into a larger container within the classroom. The students will be observing where the plant puts its energy during the winter time in Minnesota on the top of the plant or on the bottom growing potatoes. We will be digging potatoes towards the end of the school year.

We also incorporate agriculture into some of our Sunday School lessons. The kids love this project talking about God's bounty and the beauty found in seeds grown on our family's farms.

We also incorporate agriculture into some of our Sunday School lessons. The kids love this project talking about God’s bounty and the beauty found in seeds grown on our family’s farms.

We also have incorporated both of these books into lessons. "How to Make a Apple Pie and See the World" provides a great opportunity to talk about geography. "The Apple Orchard Riddle" is great in the classroom or for a Sunday school lesson. The Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom and the American Farm Bureau Foundation have great resources to enhance both of these books.

We also have incorporated both of these books into lessons. “How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World” provides a great opportunity to discuss geography. “The Apple Orchard Riddle” is great in the classroom or for a Sunday School lesson. The Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom and the American Farm Bureau Foundation have great resources to enhance both of these books.

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In March, we visited our adopted K-3rd grade school. We read the book “Tops and Bottoms,” showed them some of our chickens and did the garden in the glove activity. This is a view of a classroom from outside of the school at the conclusion of our day. Check out all of the gardens in the glove projects soaking up the sun.

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Our family together with a few of my coworkers enjoyed our time at the elementary school sharing our story of agriculture and engaging the teachers and the students in good conversations about where and how food is grown. The bonus: one of the hens laid an egg in front of one of the classrooms during the presentation. The students were over the top excited to see one of the many every day things we take for granted on our farm.