The past few years, our farm has participated in NOFA's (Northeast Organic Farming Association) pen-pal program. The program connects public school classrooms with farms for a year of letter exchanging. Though the participating schools are within our vastly agricultural state, many of the children have few first-hand farm experiences. With every change of season, I send a letter out to our assigned classrooms. My letters introduce them to our farm and the many activities that take place here. I also include what I call "Lessons" which teach them something new about the animals that live on our farm. I also include any answers to questions which they may have for me. For the duration of the school year, a dialog exchanges between our farm and approximately 30 school children. We share the trials and triumphs of farming and they share their own stories and lives with us. Our correspondence culminates with a field trip to the farm to meet the animals they have learned so much about.
I have started a new blog, "From the Shepherd's Pen" which will focus on fiber arts, sheep and other fiber animals, and children. Here I will share portions of our letters to the school children as well as fiber related activities and resources to use with children. I hope you will be encouraged to seek out and enjoy some fiber experiences with children.