Thursday, January 2, 2014

Stone Barns Farm Camp

Attention New York parents: Worried your kids’ urban lifestyle is too far removed from nature? Stone Barns Farm Camp may be just the thing for your youngsters.

Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture  is located just 25 miles north of Manhattan. Set among idyllic rolling hills and graceful woods, Stone Barns is dedicated to growing healthy and sustainable food using an agricultural system that’s good for animals, plants, nature, and people, too. Not only do they provide humanely raised animals and pesticide-free produce, Stone Barns is committed to educating children about food and stewardship, and to teaching farmers about restorative farming techniques.

Farm Camp will give kids from kindergarten through eighth grade the chance to do things they’ve probably only read about, or seen on TV. They’ll get to explore the pastures, fields, and woods of Stone Barns Center, learning about farming in a fun, hands-on way. Your child may discover she loves reaching into the silky feathers of a mild-mannered chicken to collect a freshly laid egg. Or, he may cultivate a talent for helping move sheep from pasture to pasture. Campers will learn about growing and harvesting produce and cooking delicious, healthy food, too. Camp at Stone Barns will be packed with activities designed to help kids forge connections to food, farming, and nature in a way that’s nearly impossible in New York City.

If your child is already booked for the summer, fear not: Stone Barn offers other opportunities for kids (and everyone else) to learn about farming and safe, sustainable, and healthy food production. Your child’s teacher may wish to book a visit  for the whole class, where K-12 students will go on a tour of the farm and get to try out a farm chore or activity. And you’re always welcome to take a family trip to the farm, which is open from Wednesday through Sunday year-round. Any time of year is a good one to visit Stone Barns, even winter; for example, visitors from late February through early March can learn about the maple sugaring process. Take a guided tour, or explore on your own with a self-guided tour.

Registration for 2014’s summer Farm Camp begins January 15th, and we urge interested parents to act quickly! You must be a member of Stone Barns, but the membership fee gives you a discount on camp enrollment and on the fresh, organic farm products sold in the Farm Market. Visit Stone Barns Farms’s camp webpage  for more information.

photo of chickens: woodleywonderworks
photo of sheep: Martin Pettitt

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