Thursday, November 5, 2015

Plenty of Guineas!

We just finished up a two-week lesson on guineas!  Guineas, as obnxious as they may be, do serve many purposes on the farm.  They work as a great alarm system, screaming and pitching a fit anytime an intruder animal sets foot on the property.  It's wonderful when they alert us that there is a fox or predator on the prowl!  Guineas will also gang up on predators, and even kill snakes!  Another main benefit of owning guineas is that 90% of their diet is made up on BUGS.  This makes them cheap to free-range!  Guineas especially love to eat ticks, which here is Georgia is a great thing!

The students not only learned all about the origins, characteristics, behavior, and benefits of guineas, but played guinea-themed games, read stories about guineas, made beautiful guinea and fall related crafts, and wrote our own guinea stories!

In typical Farm "Fusion" style, we ended up discussing all kinds of topics.  They learned that guineas originated in Africa and read African folktales that explained how the guinea got her spots.  We talked about fables, folktales, and how stories were passed down from one generation to the next.  The students learned a little about bird embryology & genetics (they were learn MUCH more in the spring!), and even got to see a guinea keet in mid-hatch.  We talked about the elements of writing a good story and began brainstorming their newest stories.  The younger class also worked on beginning each sentence with a capital letter and ending with the proper punctuation.  As always, the classes learned all sorts of new words, such as keet, omnivore, incubation, and more!

Next week we will begin learning all about turkeys!  For next week, the kids should bring in their Guinea Saves The Farm/Day stories to share with the class!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Inman Farm Heritage Days

2015 Goat Workshop!

Our first workshop of the 2015-2016 school year was all about goats!  The students learned about dairy goats, meat goats, and goats raised for fiber (hair).  By the end of this workshop, they were goat experts!

We practiced the hand-milking technique on gloves before actually milking the does!  The kids had to learn that if they simply squeezed the teat, the milk would just flow back up into the udder.  Instead, they had to learn to squeeze at the top first to cut off the flow and then continue with the following fingers.  It's a trick to learn!

Each week, the students wrote stories (loosely) based on our lessons.  They were excited to share them with their classmates and display them on the walls!

The day they were all waiting for!  Each student was able to milk a goat!

Ms. Nancy taught the class how to make Papier-mâché!  It was a little "gross" at first, but the kids soon began to create their goat-adorned walking sticks!

The kids learned all about dairy products and made butter.  There's no way better to churn butter than to shake it during a dance party!