EASTON, Conn. Kate Solway dug her fingers into the dirt and pulled out lettuce to feed to the chickens Wednesday at Sport Hill Farm .
"We get to experience how the plants germinate and what kinds of different foods there are," said Kate, who participated in the Junior Farmers class with Patti Popp. Kate pushed a small piece of bread onto the end of a stick and held it in front of a chicken, which Popp was holding. The chicken quickly snatched the bread one of its favorite treats.
The kids traveled through the farm Wednesday, learning about kale and tomatoes as well as greenhouses and about how to be a farmer.
"Even though it's June, a farmer has to think ahead because it takes time for something to grow from a seed," Popp told the group. "It takes time and patience you can't rush it. That's the hardest part of farming going with the flow."
Kate's family has a vegetable and a flower garden at their home in Easton. Kaylee O'Keefe, who also participated, said her family grows tomatoes, blueberries and flowering plants such as peonies and bleeding hearts. "I like this program because it lets me experience the wonders of nature outdoors. I like to have fun picking the plants and experiencing new flavors," said Kaylee, who liked the chives the best.
After wandering through the farm, the kids fed the chickens the lettuce they had harvested and bread, held a chicken and washed their hands to get ready to make pesto. The kids were allowed to choose what plants to use in their pesto whether it was basil, kale, garlic or anything else they wanted.
Popp runs the program for kids ages 9 to 14 once a month in June, July and August.
"It exposes them to something different. Where else do you see a group of kids eating carrots?" said Popp. "It's a hands-on program where they get an idea of what it takes to work on a farm."
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