Hello again from Agri Aware’s Young Farmer’s Éadoin and Steph!
Family Farm teacher, Dr. Elizabeth Finnegan taught the first group of the morning, the 6-8 year olds, about different types of pollinators which can be found in the garden. The class was excited to colour in their very own paper pollinators and dip them in glitter, to learn how insects such as bees, butterflies and ladybirds pollinate fruit and vegetables. The class got a chance to visit the Family Farm garden to try to spot these pollinators, amongst the plants.
Young Farmer Steph led the next group, aged 8-10, and gave an interesting talk on how germination occurs in plants, to compliment Dr. Finnegan’s talk on pollination. This group also went into the Family Farm garden, picked a flower, examined it and identified the different parts of the flowers and drew them.
For the last class of the day, Young Farmer Éadaoin led the 10-12 year olds age group, she taught them about biodiversity and river pollution, and they tried pond dipping. Water was collected by the young farmers from the pond and all the children had a chance to examine a few of our Irish mini beasts. Each group of students in the Farmhouse trapped a pond dwelling animal for a short while in a jar and observed it through a magnifying glass. They then had to identify any unusual features the animal had using an identification key, then a challenge was set for them to come to a conclusion on what the animal was, as well as how polluted the pond was.
The summer camp students left us happy and excited to tell their parents what they had learned that day. Steph and I are really looking forward to our Tuesday at Family Farm for the next four weeks, for more fun with summer camps.
With the weekend came beautiful sunshine on Agri Aware’s Family Farm, Young Farmers, Steph and I, were delighted to welcome Pádraig Larkin, a basket weaver from County Offaly, to the Family Farm on Saturday, 16 July. Padraig displayed everything from Moses baskets to chicken coops he made from straw and willow, in Farmhouse. There were information sheets alongside every item, so that visitors to the Family Farm could learn about the tradition of basket making. Pádraig spent all day making a beautiful basket out of willow. Basket weaving is an old Irish tradition that is still alive and well in rural Ireland. One of the aims of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is to keep these traditions alive and rural communities thriving.
Sunday, 17 July was Farm Safety Day. To create awareness of farm safety we had hourly showings of Agri Aware’s safety movie, ‘Once Upon a Farm’ in the Family Farmhouse. There was also a ‘Spot the Dangers’ colouring competition for our young visitors, which involved circling any dangers they noticed on their farmyard colouring scene. We also had a pledge poster, “While on the farm I pledge never/always to…”, and the visitors were invited to write down farm safety tips. As Young Farmers, it was up to Steph and I to place signs around the Family Farm, highlighting different areas that might be dangerous on farms all across the country.
‘Meet the Farmer in the City’ beef farmer, Sebana Moynagh, from County Cavan joined us for hourly farm tours on the Family Farm and made sure to highlight some farm safety tips along the way.
Plenty of fun was had at Agri Aware’s Family Farm this week and visitors left with an improved knowledge of old Irish traditions and a heightened awareness of farm safety.
Hoping you’ll join us again next time!
Steph and Éadaoin.