Discovery on the Farm

By Green River Preserve

By Lauren Betz

When you’re told you’ll be on a hike with Farmer Phil, it’s more than likely you’ll be visiting Green River Preserve’s farm for the morning, and what a morning it will be!

Morning Mentor hikes are a time for discovery. Usually, it’s all about getting to know native wild plants and tracking animals in the back country, but at the farm, campers are asked to think about their connection to the earth in a more “everyday” sense. After all, we rely on farms for meals at least three times a day! This connection is accentuated at GRP as campers grab veggies labeled “From the Farm!” off the salad bar and are presented with cooked zucchini harvested earlier that day.

Upon arrival at Phil and Rachel’s piece of paradise, campers are encouraged to evaluate their stance on bees as they are introduced to many species of beneficial stinging friends. A walk in the herb garden provides opportunities for tasting, and this week, campers were able to help out by digging up whole rows of potatoes! (Meanwhile, counselors were harvesting garlic, summer squash, and green beans – soon to make an appearance on the Lodge dinner tables.)

After realizing the sometimes ten degree increase in temperature from Base Camp to the Farm, campers are excited to splash in Uncles Creek. Following a botanically-focused few hours, it is finally time to meet Kevin Bacon and Elvis Pigsley, the farm’s two rescued pot-bellied pigs, and a whole menagerie of other animal companions from goats to, also special this week, newborn baby bunnies. Everyone is sad to go, but after a thorough hand-washing, it’s back on the bus to sing “Rachel and Phil had a farm, E-I-E-I-O!” all the way home.