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A Bittersweet Summer's End

posted Sep 1, 2016, 10:12 AM by Jessica Potter-Bowers
As summer camp ends and fall programs loom nearer, we are looking back at our first Season here at the Farmstead. Summer is a time for growth, for activity, and for bounty. We have certainly experienced growth and activity -- welcoming new and returning students every week of Camp Farmstead. Our garden's bounty has been shared with campers, tomato hornworms, and some herbivores. As such, we have a bounty of lessons learned and plans to make next year's garden more prolific. We have made new life-long friends, shared memorable experiences, and learned from the kiddos who grace our presence here at Two Sisters. Here is our summer rose, bud and thorn:

The highlight of the summer has certainly been our campers. They discovered a stone step path hidden under the grass. They reminded us of the joys of playing in the rain. They cleared out our creek, built whole villages for our fairies and constructed numerous forts which are still standing! Most of all, they got dirty and they loved every minute of it. 

The thorn to our summer rose is multi-faceted. We have learned a lot about the risks of playing outside, and experienced some of it firsthand. The ever-present afternoon thunderstorms felled a huge tree across our driveway one day, just as kids were trying to go home. JP had a severe allergic reaction to a yellow jacket sting just this week, and now carries an Epi-Pen around the farm. And while we won many battles against our native poison ivy, we both suffered some itchy consequences and know that the war has just begun. For these reasons, we are happy to be moving to a new Season!

Looking forward, we see Autumn just around the corner. It is full of ecological magic, from leaf season to changing animal behavior. We are excited to have students for longer periods of time in order to know them better and affect them more deeply. We are curious to re-discover our forest as it thins out a bit and becomes more easily explorable. And we are itching to re-design our garden with a permaculture lay-out. All these things are coming our way, and we hope to share them with you. 

As a last note, I want to revisit our purpose. We are here to connect children with nature. In order to do that, we are charging for our services and also don't want to exclude families who can't find the means to join us. Please don't let that be the determining factor in whether your kids enroll in our programs. Reach out to us about financial assistance or sliding scale payments and we will do what we can to bring our dream of a village of nature stewards to life.
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