Spring is here and you have to love the crazy: in the animals, the weather, and the changes at the Farm. The projects are moving forward. The new goat and sheep pens are almost done. The hoop house begins its transformation to a green house this month. Trees are coming from The Park People. The community garden will get a renovation through Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO). With the completion of the animal pens, the goats and sheep are arriving, as we rebuild the program. Our first beautiful new goat has arrived, her straight back and her coloring gives her a literal red neck. She is quite special. Four lambs were born at the Farm in March. We are very grateful and thank you for all your support.
We are hosting our first Town Hall Meeting, see below for details, we hope to see you there.
Enjoy the sunshine, the rain, and the snow that comes with a Colorado spring. We look forward to seeing you at the Farm soon.
We’re going to host our own Town Hall on Saturday April 8, 2017, at 12:30 PM. And you are invited!
Two years ago we began the process of rebuilding, restructuring, and planning for change at The Urban Farm. And now we want to share those plans with you so that you’ll have access to what’s new, educational, and just darn fun at TUF.
We want to hear from you. Please join us for an informational exchange of ideas!
We’ll talk about:
We don’t want to do all the talking! We want your ideas about:
No RSVP necessary and yes, there will be snacks. See you there.
Well, it’s been a whirlwind six weeks but I think I’m getting the hang of this. First, a big thank you to our TUF family. Everyone has been incredibly patient and helpful as I’ve been learning the ropes.
I’d like to share the major things I’ve been working on:
Indulge in the magic of creating your own fairy or farm garden. Learn the basic elements of design and magic as you create your mystical garden. All materials provided.
Child and Parent team – April 22 at 10:00 am, $30 per pair.
Adults and children (age 12+) – April 22 at 1:00 pm, $30 per person.
Space is limited, enroll now.
April 15 – Farm Fun Day with Rabbits & Poultry 10am-12pm
April 22 – NO RABBIT MEETING
April 29 – Pike Peak Rabbit Breeders Association Show, 500 Fairgrounds Road, Castle Rock, 80104-2679. 8:30 am. Must register by April 26 here. Please coordinate with April Chase, rabbit leader, if you want to attend and are not part of the rabbit group.
For more information about 4-H email Meri Moller, TUF 4H leader.
Welcome to the Urban Farm at Stapleton’s staff members. These souls work tirelessly to keep our Farm running, animals healthy and happy, and to bring quality programs to our community and children. We look forward to getting to know you better too.
Why did you choose to work for / volunteer at The Urban Farm and what has your journey been like?
As TUF has grown and moved toward being an educational campus, I was brought on as Program Manager. My background is in agricultural education and construction trades, so my job here is to create quantifiable learning targets and establish curriculum for our Storybook Farm, All Around the Farm, and Divergence programs. My teaching experience began at a small non-profit in northern Illinois. HorsePower Therapeutic Riding was a program designed to assist children and adults with both mental and physical disabilities get out on a farm setting and use riding and other horse interactions as therapy. After moving out to Colorado to go to college, I pursued a career in high school agricultural education. I chose to work at TUF because public education wasn’t a great fit for me. I didn’t enjoy teaching crammed classrooms of 40 students at a time with little support from the faculty and community. However, the setup at TUF is much more conducive to meaningful interactions with small groups of all ages and abilities. I am passionate about increasing agricultural literacy in young people.
Where did you go to college and what degree do you have?
I attended Colorado State University right out of high school. I have a bachelor of science in agricultural education and a bachelor of science in equine science. During my junior year I was concurrently enrolled in Aims Community College where I achieve an associate’s in welding for agricultural educators.
What is your favorite Farm noise?
I love the sound of water pounding out of a hose, hitting the bottom of a freshly scrubbed trough, and then easing back to a gurgle as the pressure decreases.
What are your hobbies / passions outside of the Farm?
I am an outdoors enthusiast. I like road cycling, riding my horse, paddling kayaks and stand-up paddleboards, and backpacking and camping. I completed a 2,181 mile backpacking trip on the Appalachian Trail between high school and college.
What is your favorite book / movie / music?
I love a good mystery book. Tom Clancy is one of my favorite authors. Super hero movies are probably my favorite right now. I’m a big fan of bluegrass, jazz, and blues: anything from Ella Fitzgerald, to BB King and Muddy Waters, to the Steeldrivers.
What is your most memorable moment at TUF?
I am inspired by the new construction going on right now. Seeing the cleared sheep and goat pen, ready for a new fence was super exciting. Putting the last piece of siding on the new chicken coop seems like it’s signaling a new era out here. We are right on the cusp of better buildings and better programs.
What do you love about TUF?
I love that this is an accessible place for urban youth to come experience eastern Colorado agriculture. When I was reading the job description for program manager it hit every single one of my passions in education. One of my friends stopped me while I was reading it aloud and asked “Is this place real?” like there was no way it could be a real place and not some fantasy I made up to fit my ideal career. Let me tell you, it’s real. And get ready, because we’re about to change the face of agricultural education.
Thank you Urban Farm
Update on the Goat the Sheep Rebuilding Initiative
As you know from our newsletter, or from the recent media attention, we have suffered a great loss to our animal population and to the programs they supported. We intend to fill that void with new life and a directed focus on our responsibility to our new animal residents, to those who care for them, and those who learn from them.
We have received an outpouring of support from our community that has heartened us and given us strength during this difficult time. We have received over $10,000 in contributions to help us rebuild. This will greatly help toward covering the cost of a completely new fenced enclosure and will start us down the road to replacing our animals.
With over 40 volunteers helping, we have constructed a temporary secure fenced area for our remaining goats and sheep, and were able to bring them home last weekend.
Construction of a new, secure fence and gates will begin shortly.
We will replace our goats and sheep with particular types of high quality animals that can help us fulfill our mission in the most effective way. Our goat herd will consist of two specialized types of goats—Boer Goats and Nigerian Dwarf Goats. Each type of goat brings special qualities to the Farm. They will be used in our Field Trips, Storybook Farm, Fiber Arts, Animal Husbandry, and 4-H Programs. (Look for Goat Yoga in the future!)
Prices vary, but here are some parameters on what it costs to replace our herd:
• Nigerian Dwarf Goat: $300-$600 each, our goal is 5 goats.
• Boer Goat: $400-$900 each, our goal is 4 goats.
• Shetland Sheep: $600-$1000 each, our goal is 3 sheep.
With a donation of $1000 or more you get to name one of the new animals!
Looking Forward. In addition, our goal is to build a birthing barn to allow our animals to give birth in a safe, quiet, heated shelter. This will also allow our program participants and visitors a new and unique visitor experience at TUF. We estimate the cost of such a facility to be in the $30,000 range. We will keep you advised on our plans for the birthing barn.
We are also considering the addition of Livestock Guardian Dogs who have been used for centuries to protect flocks of sheep and herds of goats, calves, poultry and other livestock. Livestock Guardian Dogs stay with the group of animals they protect as a full-time member of the herd. They blend in with the flock and/or herd, watching for intruders. The mere presence of a guardian dog is usually enough to ward off predators. Livestock Guardian Dogs could also be integrated into our educational programs to teach how dogs can have a career as working animals.
HOW YOU CAN DONATE. We have made it simple! Click at the DONATE button. You will be able to specify if you wish to donate to the goat and sheep initiative or you can make a general contribution to our operations. With a donation of $1000 or more you get to name one of the new animals!
Other fun options: take a page out of Swigert International School’s fifth grade classes and organize a group donation—Bake sale? Car wash? Pledges? Whatever works for you!
Thank you so much from all of us, from the kids and families we work with, and from the animals. We are glad to have you aboard!