Miller Fellow Blog
Friday, 12 February 2021 18:04

Mud Bath Featured

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Yesterday the kindergarten group went camping at Agraria. Agraria is a local ecological and outdoor educational center spanning 128 acres of land. There are a lot of fun things to admire and explore at Agraria. There are chickens on the small farm, a grass maze, and even a rocky creek. The group set up camp at the main shelter, gathering around a pink cobb stove for snacks and read-a-loud. With the camp as home base, the kindergarten admired the historic wooden barn standing tall and painted white near the entrance.

 From the main camp, Lindie, MJ, and the group of children set out to explore the land. Agraria specializes in stewarding connections between students and the outdoors through experiential ecology classes. This trip allowed the children to play in the wilderness, on the farm, and in the creekbed, turning the outdoors into an ecologically diverse classroom.

 Setting off into the grounds is always so exciting! The children jumped and skipped along, picking up on the possibilities. Learning outside lends itself to all kinds of lessons. 

The farm comes first as you walk down the hill. Inside of the garden, the beds were beginning to wilt with the impending cold of fall. A group of dark grey chickens speckled white clabbered around the fence, and burrowed into the dirt. 

“They’re laying eggs,” observed a little boy in a red shirt with a firetruck on it. He was pointing at two chickens standing in a pit, scooping dirt out with their yellow, scaly feet. 

“They’re laying eggs!” first one, then two, then three children sang out in unison. Their high pitched laughter rang across the field. Lindie explained that the chickens were taking a mud bath.  According to bestfarmanimals.com, chickens bathe in dirt to release excess oils and to kill parasites. And they have so much fun doing it!

 Playing in the mud is fun as well as educational.The group waded through the shallow, rocky bed of Jacoby Creek learning about, and playing with, the soil. Mud caked the bottoms of our rain boots before being washed away by the creek water. After a day of examining the soil, making mud pies, and stacking wet rocks to make castles, we learned that playing in the mud is not only fun for chickens, but it’s great for children, too.

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