Thursday, May 14, 2009

Workshops are off and rolling

By: Kate Betz, Manager of Public Programs
I am definitely a lucky lady. Sometimes—like when I can’t get my car out of my driveway because of snow or when the sun hasn’t made an appearance in weeks—I forget how beautiful our region is and how unique its opportunities are. Over the past month, I have had the opportunity to be a crash test dummy of sorts for a couple of our new hands-on craft workshops. I enjoyed them immensely! Not only did I get to soak up information that will help me both at work and in my home life, but I also got to see our interpreters doing what they do best—teaching the public. My first workshop experience was at our Heritage Vegetable Garden class in early April. We learned about historic vegetable growing, usage, and storing first, and then got to try our hands at building a hot frame. Hot frames are designed to give you a head start on spring planting. How? By using horse manure as a fuel to keep the inside of a wooden box warm enough so that seeds and plants can grow. Building the hot frame was definitely a workout for me and my fellow workshop participants, but it was incredibly satisfying. Make sure to check out Gwen Miner’s post about hot frames to learn more about the specifics and to see how our plants are doing in the completed frame. If jumping on a big pile of straw and manure wasn’t enough to get me excited about the opportunities on the farm, then I certainly got a taste of the hard work of farming in the second workshop I attended, our Farm Chores workshop. This workshop is designed to give visitors a taste of what getting the farm ready in the morning really means. I did everything from throwing hay bales from the loft, to letting out the animals (did you know the preferred language for steering sheep to pasture is “good day”?), mucking stalls, harnessing Zeb the horse, and cultivating a few rows in our hop field. I was tired and smelly by the end of the morning, but I had a truly wonderful time. If this has whet your appetite for getting your hands dirty in one of our workshops, make sure to check out the website for details on the season’s offerings.

1 comment:

Joshua Muse said...

Well, I'm not sure that "Crash Test Dummy" is the best way to describe your role, but all the programs sound great! I'm fairly jealous.

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