The Hatchery is a weekday morning program for children 3-5 years old. It is designed as a "first-time" farm experience for children, introducing them to animals, crops and farm living through hands-on activities that are safe, fun and educational while a parent volunteers their time helping with other farm activities.

The program is staffed by a Hatchery teacher, who is assisted by one or two Hatchery parents. Class size is limited to ensure program quality.

During the 3 hour program, Hatchery children spend their time on several types of activities:

Chores: Through daily chore routines, children learn about the needs and products of farm animals. Routines involve some or all of the following: collecting eggs, pumping water for work horses, shelling corn for geese, putting hay in sheep manger, putting straw in calf pen.

Seasonal Activities: In the spring, children visit baby animals, plant a garden, and see a sheep being shorn. In the fall, children pick and decorate pumpkins, dig potatoes, husk Indian corn and make a wallow for the pigs.

Crafts: Children make crafts using materials from the farm: corncobs, egg shells, wool, feathers, etc. Sometimes a cooking or baking project is done instead of a craft. 

Storytelling and Singing: Farm related themes are used to reinforce what children have learned about animals, crops and nature.

Outdoor Fun: Children explore the farm and its seasons through walks, games and play.

Parents interested in participating in either the Hatchery or Farmhands fall program should attend one of two informational meetings held in the farm's visitor center on Saturday, August 25th at 11am and 1:30pm.

Applications cannot be made by mail or phone.

For more information contact the farm at 609-737-3299.