Educational Farm Tours: Ecology & Earth Science

Understanding and working harmoniously with the biodiverse ecosystems of the farm is vital to its successful functionality.

Matter & Energy: How are plants and animals are grown and transformed into food?  How do we use sun’s energy? What is composting and how is it implemented? These are all examples of our relationship to the flow of energy through the many systems on our farm. Take a hayride through the farm to observe and discuss the many forms of matter and energy that keep our farm running sustainably.  Enjoy lesson-based games and experiments, and have a cup of cider and a snack from our farm stand!

Biology: What better place to discover and study the science of living things than a farm?  Take a hayride through the farm to learn about the life cycles of many of our plants and animals, some seemingly obvious and others more subtle but just as important.  Observe and discuss the interconnectedness of all living beings on the farm, play lesson-based games which focus on interactive life cycles and enjoy a cup of cider and snack from the farm stand!

Climate: The health of our crops, soil, animals, our planting schedules and even our power supplies rely heavily on climate.  Therefore, shifts in climate have a great effect on our farm and are worthy of in-depth, solution-oriented discussion. Take a hayride through our farm and learn the ways our climate has changed throughout history, how we work with today’s climate challenges and discuss how we can become a part of the solution.  Engaged in lesson-based experiments while enjoying a cup of cider and snack from our farm stand.

Water & Wetlands: Did you know that Smolak Farms has its very own bog?!  A bog is defined as a quagmire covered with grass or other plants, wet, spongy ground –  a small marsh – a plant community on wet, very acid peat. Take a hayride through the farm to explore irrigation and water saving systems, the water cycle, erosion, or wetlands ecology, as well as the effect of water on our variety of landscapes before stopping to continue on foot to our beautiful bog and observe this thriving ecosystem.  Learn the history and many possible agricultural uses of the bog, engage in a lesson-based wetlands project and enjoy a cup of cider and snack from our farmstand!

EcoSystems: The possibilities are limitless with this educational tour.  From pastures to agricultural land, temperate forest to grasslands and wetlands, the diverse ecosystems within Smolak Farms and the ways they coexist are ready for your observation and discussion! Take a hayride through the farm for observation and discussion, play lesson-based games and enjoy a cup of cider and snack from our farm stand!

Soil: Soils are complex mixtures of minerals, water, air, organic matter, and countless organisms that are the decaying remains of once-living things. It forms at the surface of land – it is the “skin of the earth.”  Dive deep into the world of soils with us, the different uses of various kinds of soil, the creatures that live work with soil, and experience how vital healthy soil is for humanity and our planet! Take a guided hayride of the farm, collect soil samples to examine, create your own worm farm, play lesson-based games and enjoy a cider donut and juice from our farmstand!

Sustainability: About 12,000 years ago, humans switched from being hunter-gatherers and began living in permanent settlements. Through agriculture, humans found a way to create reliable food sources where they lived. Populations increased, and settlements grew into cities from which great civilizations sprang. Our natural environment is home to everything we need to survive. We teach our kids about nutrition and different food groups. They usually study some environmental science. We need to bring those concepts together in a way that kids understand how food, civilization, and sustainable agriculture intertwine with each other. On a Smolak Farms sustainability tour, we begin with a guided hayride across the farm, where we’ll point out ways that farming on this land has changed and stayed the same over the last few hundred years.  We’ll discuss different systems that have been developed to help keep the farm successful in agricultural and business production. We’ll perform an experiment that helps us decide which methods of agriculture are more sustainable than others, and after a special snack, play lesson-based games!

Pricing

Smolak Farms strives to maintain high-quality educational programming. Due to an increase in expenses, we unfortunately have had to raise our costs to maintain the highest quality in educational tours. We thank you for understanding. Please see our new pricing lists below, which vary depending on season and content.

Ecology & Earth Science: $12/child with one free adult/teacher per group