Supporting Our Teachers and Students by Farmer Amy
During the past months of physical distancing from our community, we realize that connecting to that very group has become of paramount importance. We miss the smiles and the joy in discovery, the inquiry and observations, the FUN, and the teaching moments that can only happen on the Farm. We miss you ALL!
Spring is a time full of beauty and growth and boundless energy and activity. While we long to share our farm with visitors on-site, we know that is currently impossible. But that hasn’t kept our farm team down. In support of the BHSD Continuous Learning initiatives, we have created age-appropriate videos that have been shared with pre-K through fifth-grade classes. From an animal storytime to living and nonliving things at the farm, what living things need to survive, to garden preparation and a photosynthesis experiment, the Farm instructional team is partnering with the classroom teachers to support their virtual learning plans.
On Friday, May 15, we had a Zoom meeting with Eastover 2nd graders and staff to check in on the progress of the student-generated design ideas for our future Children’s Discovery Garden at Bowers Farm. Dr. Norm Lownds, the Director of the MSU Children’s Garden was able to join the call and give the students additional inspiration. It was amazing to get to see these exuberant students share their designs.
We have been thrilled to share the farm with our community and look forward to the day when we will swing open the gates and welcome you back to Bowers Farm.
Bowers Garden: Growing Food and Building Community by Farmer Emily
We’ve been hard at work in the Bowers Garden, planting a wide range of fruits and vegetables to feed our community! We feel so lucky to be able to participate in our local food system in this way.
As we build out the foundation of our garden this season, we remember that we are one small part of an entire ecosystem of growers in this region. Southeast Michigan is saturated with small scale farms, run by farmers who are rooted in community and prioritize regenerative and ecologically sound growing practices. Operations like Keep Growing Detroit, Beaverland Farms, Oakland Avenue Urban Farm, and MSU Tollgate have been some of our greatest teachers so far this season. Every day we are reminded of how grateful we are for community-based agriculture, the local leaders in this field, and the sharing of knowledge and resources that technology in this day and age encourages. If you are looking to start or expand your home gardening efforts, these farms can offer some incredible resources for you!
Looking forward, we have some exciting things on the horizon! As we think ahead to the summer, we will be holding regular farm stand hours for you to come and buy produce and eggs. We will also be hosting regular volunteer hours for those of you who are hoping to come work, learn, and build community with us in the garden! More information about the farm stand and volunteer hours will be available soon! Please check our Facebook page for updates.
Did You Know? The Value of Nature by Farmer Amy
In the last eight weeks, our world has shrunk, but there is solidarity in knowing that everyone on the planet is experiencing similar frustrations. So many emotions, fears, longings, loss, anger, and worry are bubbling close to the surface. Uncertainty is at the forefront of many people’s minds. Where do you find comfort and solace? You need look no further than your window!
Nature is one of the few constants we have in our lives, and this has never been more evident than during this pandemic. Every day, the sun will rise and the seasons will march on. We know the importance and value of appreciating nature and the natural world, and we celebrate it every day at Bowers Farm.
Children are born with an innate sense of exploration and wonder! Now is a perfect time to encourage them to experience the great outdoors and embrace their (and your) inner naturalist. Remember, it’s often the littlest things that make huge impacts. Even the youngest children love to experience the sights, scents, sounds, and textures of the outdoors. Nature provides countless opportunities for discovery, creativity, problem-solving, learning, and PLAY! Interacting with nature encourages children to learn by doing. In nature, children wonder, which fosters curiosity. As they take risks, they gain resilience and confidence, skills that will serve them well into adulthood.
When children are encouraged to be outdoors and explore the natural world, they can’t help but become stewards of this beautiful planet we call home.
Want to learn more? Here are some excellent resources for nature based activities and articles on children in nature.