In the midst of doing this very work in my classroom in Milwaukee WI, I was snatched away by one diagnosis after another of chronic illness. Having to leave my students behind left me heartbroken. Out of starvation a farm was born.
One of the illnesses I suffer from is gastroparesis. In it’s most basic form it is paralysis of the stomach. In combination with lupus, fibromyalgia, and hashimotos my body was fading away as was my spirit. A heart nudge came to get goats and after researching the benefits of their milk, especially when consumed raw, we brought some home. My first goatee girl came into milk just as I was faced with the choice to get a feeding tube placed or continue slowly starving toward death. I chose raw milk; the goats saved my life.
As the farm grew other livestock were added and my connection to them, the land and it’s offerings whether foraged or grown provided much needed healing from mental ails and some relief from symptoms conventional medicine wasn’t giving me. I watched as my own children began to thrive in new ways also and a vision manifested:
A working farm with hands on agricultural programming for kids from the city to connect with kids in the country.
Nothing can replace being immersed in nature. Nothing can replace the value of learning animal husbandry and all that comes with it. Nothing can replace the value of knowing how to grow, produce, and preserve your own food. Plenty of adults are already lacking in these skills - happy to help there too, but our children? Our children deserve better!
The reality is not all children are presented with the same opportunities, nor treated equally within opportunities. We are here to change that while empowering each and every child that steps on this land through multifaceted agricultural programming based around them, their abilities, their interests, their needs, and the stories they bring with them.
The foundations you give a child - in skills, diverse relationships, communication, etc. - directly impacts their adulthood. At Loveland Acres Farm you can help us raise a beautifully diverse future generation that believes in:
• Equity for all
• Food sovereignty
• The importance of nuturing skills that sustain individuals and their communities
• Love and care of the natural world
• Agriculture is meant for all to have access to and be a part of
What Loveland Acres Farm can achieve through your donation is:
• Transportation to bring kids from the city here to a tractor to manage fields
• The construction of a learning barn to fencing the land properly
• Diability access for wheelchairs to adaptive and kid friendly tools ensuring all can participate
• More land for community gardens to an apiary and wildflower field trails
• Milking equipment and a stanchion for kid safe milking to an on farm poultry butchering set up
• Chicken tractors and coops for all our Chickens & Littles chicks to books and other learning materials across a wide variety of representation
These resources will give us the ability to provide programming such as:
• Chickens & Littles - a home based hatching program where children and thier families go through the process to hatch chicks, name them, return them to the farm, and become invested in farming through their little flock
• Grow Pros - an on farm community garden program where kids can use a portion of the land to grow what they and their families will consume and learn how to preserve those foods for long term availability and use
• Tiny Herbalists - a program to share knowledge on a variety of herbs, how to grow them, preserve them, and use them in a variety of ways for health and wellness
• Milk Masters - a program for kids interested in dairy animals, the care it takes to keep them healthy, how to milk, and how to create a variety of products from it
• Field Foragers - a program to teach safe foraging practices, easily recognizable plants, benefits of them, how to use them, and preserve them for health and wellness
• Meat Masters - a program for kids interested in raising livestock for meat, what it takes to keep them healthy, how to know when to harvest, and how to harvest themselves and/or set up the appointments for it to be done at a shop, as well as education in the importance of nose to tail consumption
• Wooly Wonders - a program to teach about raising sheep for fiber, the care it takes to keep them healthy, shearing the animals, and processing the wool into useable items
• Little Chefs, Big Flavor - all the hard work of raising food on the farm culminates in this program where kids learn how to cook with the food they’ve raised and produced. From homemade pasta and cheese to sauces and meatballs, cooking from scratch offers invaluable life lessons
Let’s Build a Bridge to Loveland! Here’s to a future in farming where every child has a place in the field and a portion of the harvest.
- Katelyn Duban
- Georgia L Cawley
- Kylee Wongrowski
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