One of the kindergarten classes that I work with has been studying the time of Laura Ingalls Wilder after reading Little House and the Big Woods. The class indicated certain aspects of that time period that they found interesting and wanted to explore more. For example, two students were particularly interested in the whole living off the farm, raising animals that produce milk for drinking and cooking. They wanted to know what the process is for milking a cow. We were able to find a local farmer that was willing for us to come out and visit him and his cows. I loaded up these two students and the three of us traveled to Efland. [Sidenote- This is a great example of the child centered philosophy at our school… following the curiosities and natural eagerness of our students and allowing the students to learn from real-life experiences to shape and educate them.] Farmer Chris let us step right into the pasture and watch him milk several cows. I was able to try a hand at this milking business. After seeing me try, one of our kids wanted to try it out as well. It was a wonderful experience. The vegan in me was delighted to also find out that this farmer doesn’t kill any of his cows. He raises them in a compassionate way, and never has too many at a time. Here is a clip from our experience:
As I drove away, I asked myself if I had cows and was able to do what this farmer does… would I drink or cook with the fresh milk? Still thinking about it. I do know that I was very inspired by the peacefulness of that farm.