Monday, July 30, 2012

Barnyard Tales 7-25-12

Story time in the farmhouse again. I had books and autoharp in place. 
Flowers gathered. Henrietta good to go. But no customers. At 10:05 a.m. I moved out to sit on the porch steps, pet the cat and talk to her about the vole problem in my plot, #62. Was just getting ready to pack up and go home when at 10:10 a.m. a car comes up the driveway past the farmhouse. It's a mom and her three girls, regulars who had been away. "No story time today?" Mom hollers out the open window.

"Not yet," I reply. "You're the first." Then another family over by the hen house appeared.

"Where is story time?" It's a grandmother with family from out of town. Not sure how long they had been there. Finally got going about
10:15 a.m. Eventually we had seven little girls; a very different energy from last week.

Henrietta just came out and chatted; no story from her this time. 
They love her. Then we read about a walk in a grandmother's garden and I brought out the flowers I'd picked. Most of the ones in the story grow at Luscher and it was fun to match them with the illustrations. My shyest customer even left mom's side to come smell them, a big step for her. We sang "Three Blue Pigeons" and then settled down for some poetry from an old children's literature anthology of mine from my childhood. No pictures; just the lovely language. The girls were very receptive. We read three about birds and three about cows. Among the featured poets were Robert Frost, Robert Louis Stevenson and Emily Dickinson. We're getting a little culture here on the farm!!

Then off to feed the chickens some greens before heading to the Children's Garden to explore, stopping to check the ripeness of the blackberries on the way. And to rescue some poppy seed pods from a pile of vegetation headed for the compost pile. They make wonderful doll heads, complete with crowns.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Barnyard Tales 7-18-12

It was a quiet start this week; only three children plus one baby brother. But not for long. Families continued to arrive in a steady stream over the next ten minutes or so until the group numbered 11 or 12 children. 
Some regulars from earlier in the summer returned after being away for a few weeks, these kids were eager to reconnect again after being away--both with the stroyteller and each other. Lots of interruptions to tell me about band aids, owies, and trips to Idaho!!  Even a little kicking episode at one point, firmly nipped in the bud. Thank goodness for the "no shoes in the farm house" rule. 

Read One Bean, a story about a little boy planting a bean seed, and Ten Seeds, a story about the disasters that befell nine of the ten sunflower seeds another little boy planted. The previous week we came face to face with tons of honey bees in the Children's Garden so I shared Jam & Honey, the story of a little girl and a bee who fear each other, but learn they can share the same garden space. Sang "Rudy Luscher Had a Farm" w/animals, but I think the song has run its course. Finally, because children have twice this season reported seeing a dead bird on the farm, I felt we needed to talk about the natural life cycle of all living things. I brought a dead crane fly to show them and read Lifetimes, a beautiful book about how all living things have "beginnings and endings with living in between".  I questioned whether to try that book with this young and restless group, but they settled down and were very attentive as we read the story about all living things dying. One boy said, when I finished, "I stepped on a whole lot of bugs when we were camping and killed them!" That prompted lots of sharing. Maybe I've been underestimating them!! Bagged the story about a grandmother's flower garden with this restless crowd even though I'd gathered most of the flowers in the story. This group needed to move outside!

Henrietta Hen did tell the story of the Golden Worm as promised, but mid-story a little boy interrupted. "What are we going to do now?" he asked. I think that's a 4-year-old's way of saying, "You are boring me to death!!" I'm going to have to work with Henrietta about her story choices as well as her delivery.

We were a beehive of activity in the Children's Garden. Fairy house plants to water; treasures to be dug; creepy, crawly creatures to be discovered under the straw bale and a rotting log; mole hills to be explored; weeds to be dug and pulled; edible flowers to be picked for salad; checking our height compared to a sunflower, and so much more!! Some stayed a good hour or more and that little group found a wasps nest complete with wasps and larvae in a cold frame. Yikes! While we marveled at this nest from a safe distance, we're not eager to share garden space with these guys and suggest an end to their lifetime!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Barnyard Tales 7-11-12

During Barnyard Tales for this session we had a one-year-old who was faster than a speeding bullet and not easily distracted from his mission. His main focus was the  autoharp and even putting it back into the case and latching it didn't dissuade him; he had that case open in a flash!! Henrietta tried to distract him to no avail. Friends have asked, "Where was his mother?" Busy with two other children and that if she gotten very forceful with him we'd have had a major tantrum on our hands.  It was like a juggler with many plates in the air--tell a bit of story, grab the autoharp, tell a little bit of story, shut the lid, tell a bit of story, latch the latch, tell a bit of story, grab, shut, latch and hide the autoharp, etc!!

Henrietta had a great time--found the children very attentive except for the autoharp fiend!! She has made friends with a gorgeous peacock who lives with Karen and has invited him to come tell a story, too. He's spending the week with us right now so that I can see how it is he spreads his tail!! One mother was so excited about Henrietta, she offered to bring me her "Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly" complete with all the farm animals she swallowed!! We're getting quite a barnyard full!! We do a lot of singing so that will be fun.

Lots of chicken time. Shared some interesting seed pods at the end of story time so several kids were on the look out for those. Garden filled with bees. Picked some flowers. Good, busy time.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Welcome to the Luscher Farm Barnyard Tales blog! Subscribe to us and hear about the wonderful stories we hear and things we discover at Luscher Farm. Join us at Wednesdays at 10am at Luscher Farm, April through October.