This week's journey at our summer camp brought us an enriching viewing experience of the documentary "The Biggest Little Farm." The emotional tale of a couple and their steadfast dog striving to transform barren farmland into a flourishing and biodiverse haven struck a chord with our young participants. Engaging in discussions about the film, our students exhibited a profound understanding of the intricate harmony existing among all farm organisms. They keenly absorbed the lesson that challenges can be met by seeking inspiration from nature's ingenious solutions. Notably, the students grasped the concept that while coyotes may pose a threat to chickens, a well-designed solution, such as employing farm dogs as guardians, could elevate the role of coyotes to gopher controllers! Our learners contemplated the farm's design choices and contemplated how these insights could be integrated into their upcoming final design projects.
Our captivating field trip this week led us to the vibrant farmers market. Amidst a colorful array of seasonal fruits and vegetables, our participants reveled in the experience of selecting and purchasing items. This outing also doubled as an opportunity for culinary preparation, as students took an active role in procuring ingredients for pickling and crafting momos later in the week.
Culinary endeavors took a delicious turn with the long-awaited momo-making session. Students immersed themselves in the rich history of momos and diverse dumplings worldwide. Hands-on activities included vegetable shredding and dough preparation. In line with our exploration of preservation methods, the focus shifted to fermentation. Pickling cucumbers became a collaborative venture, with students engaging in the art of crafting brine and infusing it with flavorful herbs and spices. Anticipation builds as the students eagerly await the results of their pickling efforts!
Within our garden's nurturing embrace, students continued to nurture their seedlings, observe the growth of vegetables, and contribute to the well-being of our worm bin. The garden radiated with the infectious curiosity and excitement of our young participants. The burgeoning cucumbers, peppers, and tomatoes served as triumphant markers of our collective efforts.
D.I.Y. sessions unfolded with a spotlight on botanical illustration. Students devoted time to observing plants both in our garden and through photo references, translating their observations into meticulous sketches, watercolor paintings, and tempera creations. The addition of beautifully painted mini terracotta pots further showcased their artistic flair. A delightful culmination of this artistic journey came as each student carefully selected a petite succulent to grace their newly adorned pot, a keepsake to adorn their homes.
Our week's adventure culminated in a trip to Travers Park, where spirited camaraderie fueled a friendly competition between groups A and B. The objective: to collect the remnants of water balloons strewn across the grounds. Group B emerged triumphant, collecting an impressive five jars of discarded water balloon fragments. Beyond the tangible victory, the most heartening outcome was witnessing the inspiring ripple effect as children outside our program joined the cleanup, united by shared enthusiasm and a commitment to fostering a cleaner environment.
-Teacher Gina Piersanti