Friday, October 2, 2009

Down on the Farm

Last week we spent a beautiful, sunny, toasty warm afternoon at Lake Farmpark. Hard to believe that only one week later we are freeeeeeeezing, wishing we owned a pair of alpaca socks.

This was our first Homeschool Wednesday class at Lake Farmpark and we were not disappointed. The theme for this particular Wednesday was Harvesting. Our first stop was "Corn Binding" which I had never even heard of before. This horse-powered corn binder cuts the stalks and ties a string around 3 or 4 plants and then drops them to the ground.

These are the bundles of stalks that are left behind.

Bring your muscles to drag the bundles to the 'main teepee'. Oh, and you might want to wear long sleeves because I heard they can be itchy and maybe a little ouchy.
Voila! Thirty to forty bundles are made into these lovely corn shocks to allow them to dry out. Next, they will be shredded and stored in silos for animal food.
Next, off to harvest the potatoes. We are planning on saving these potatoes and using them to plant our own next spring. Stay tuned to see how that plays out!
Luckily, we found a hand operated water pump so that we could have sparkling clean potatoes, which Benjamin kept calling tomatoes. C'mon, city kid! Get your veggies straight! Actually, though, after a quick google search, I discovered potatoes are neither vegetable nor fruit. They are tubers. They are the root of a flowering plant related to Deadly Nightshade, as is the tomato. The tomato by the way is classified as a fruit.

Next stop: The 3 acre corn maze on the side of a hill. There were corn-related questions to answer at the forks in the path to help you find your way. It was all a scam. We finally ditched the maze and took the emergency exit out the side of the field. It appeared to be a well-traveled exit, so I think others had the same problems we encountered.

We worked up quite a thirst in that endless corn maze, so we were quite happy our next stop was cider making. It's quite simple. They use a magical combination of three different types of apples, put them in the cider press and squeeeeeeeeeze the juice out of the apples and there you have it! Unfortunately, we weren't allowed to taste that cider because it had not been pasteurized. They did have some cider from another farm for us to sample. YUM! See this turkey? Yeah, he looks innocent enough, but if you're holding an ear of corn..... WATCH OUT! Let's just say he gave us a good run for our money on our way to learn more about the many uses of corn.
Professional corn grinder.

Before leaving we got to take a peek at the many people preparing for the largest indoor display of balloons in the country! That is an oak tree made entirely out of balloons!

The kids used to think I was pretty cool because I could make a dog, sword and hat out of balloons. Someone always has to be 'one upping me'! It was pretty amazing though.

1 comment:

Machelle said...

How cool! I want to come to your house and get home schooled!!