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Wanna Fete the Harvest Season?
Head East This Weekend
October 22, 2010 | By Brian Halweil | Photographs by Lindsay Morris
And, finally, for the kids, there’s this to consider. The Green School in Sagaponack–which gets its power from rooftop solar and whose 2 and 3 year old students spend their days making seasonally-appropriate apple muffins and pumpkin soup, and taking care of the resident farm animals—is offering extracurricular ed for those wee weekend warriors. In addition to riding lessons ($75 for a 30 minute lesson, $100 for 1 hour lesson; ages 3 years to adult) and a Saturday morning petting farm (9:30 a.m.-Noon, R.S.V.P. appreciated to 631.875.4890; $25 includes petting zoo and pony ride), families can adopt an animal and help feed and care for it as part of the Part Time Farmer offerings. Available animals include a pony, a horse, a donkey, pigs, bunnies, guinea pigs, hens and roosters. (Annual shares start at $35 and go up to $300. Learn more here or call 631.537.1634.)
At Tots on the Farm, now in its second season at The Green School, pre-nursery and nursery aged children enter the classroom through barn doors, and eat snacks often supplemented from the school’s garden. The teachers and students compost the remains or feed them to the farm animals on site. The chickens provide eggs for baking. The school’s NYC sister is called The Art Farm School, is across the way from Eli Zabar’s Vinegar Factory.
According to school founder Mari Linnman, it’s this sort of environment–“an idyllic setting filled with farm animals, gardens, and ponds”–that helps young children adjust to the separation anxiety that’s sometimes part of school. She credits the model partly to her own childhood on a dairy farm. “We have a clear message of exposing children to all that nature has to offer and how to preserve it for all those who inhabit great and small,” she says, noting that care for farm animals teaches, among other things, responsibility, compassion and patience.