Green Bow Farm Educational Partnership

By Jenna Richter | February 12, 2016 | Farming, Science, Sustainablility

Many thanks to Green Bow Farm for inviting us to learn about sustainable farming throughout the year.  We will be at the farm twice a month to learn about the animals and the process of multi-species rotational grazing.

During our first visit, we learned the background behind this farming method.  Farmer Matt discussed how each species on the farm has a secondary purpose and a role in keeping the land healthy.  Each animal was chosen for the farm because of it’s unique characteristics.  In order to learn more about the animals, we toured the farm and took fecal samples from chickens, sheep, and cows.

 

At the chicken pasture we saw chicken tractor and Farmer Matt showed us how he collects a fecal sample.
At the chicken pasture we saw chicken tractor and Farmer Matt showed us how he collects a fecal sample.

 

Next we walked out to the cows to collect another sample. They were so calm and curious we were able to be quite close to them.
Next we walked out to the cows to collect another sample. They were so calm and curious we were able to be quite close to them.  They are Highland cattle.

 

Bella the herding dog gave us a fun demonstration of her skills out in the Icelandic Sheep pasture and then we collected one more sample.

Just after Bella's demonstration, the sheep standing close together and at attention.
Just after Bella’s demonstration, the sheep standing close together and at attention.

 

Next we headed inside to learn how we would prepare the samples to view as well as a review of microscope handling and how to prepare a slide.

Here's Farmer Matt preparing the slide and focusing his big microscope so we could look at the samples.
Here’s Farmer Matt preparing the slide and focusing his big microscope so we could look at the samples.

 

We learned that the samples are evaluated regularly to check the health of the animals.  In one sample we could see some vegetation consumed by the cow.  In the sheep sample we were lucky enough to see a parasite egg.

Finn holding one eye closed to see better.
Finn holding one eye closed to see better.

 

We will be back in a few weeks time to learn all about sheep shearing.  On that visit we will observe the shearing, help sort fleeces, compare fleeces and take a lesson in felting.

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