The Farm has become a little quieter. One of the benefits of the farmer’s job is to be able to walk the Farm. As you approach the pens, the animals come closer, each voice in its own cadence implying a feeling. Usually “feed me” even though their little hay-filled bellies say they are full.
A rare tragic evening in January, two loose dogs were able to get into the pens in the deep of night. We lost all our goats, many sheep and a few rabbits. We have had loose dogs on the Farm before, it has not been a problem to catch them and find their owners. This time, however, it ended tragically for us and the owner of the dogs who where found on the property that next morning. The owner has forfeited the dogs and agreed to restitution. It has been a really tough time for all of us.
We will change our thinking; before we focused on how to keep our animals in and away from the roads and harm. Our metro environment changes that; we are now focusing on strengthening pens and the animals’ homes to make them safer. I enjoy the wildlife at the Farm and have no plans to exclude it. We have had a red fox, owls, hawks, and a even a beautiful bald eagle at the Farm in the past several months. We are building new chicken pens that will be fenced in to protect the flock from predators; there is still more than enough wild food on the Farm for the wildlife. We were already making these changes, but we are evaluating how to move forward faster.
My deepest gratitude and thanks to all of you who have reached out and offered support: the police, animal control, the vets, and Adams county 4H extension office, and our members, volunteers, and supporters. As one of our vets said, the Farm currently has a void but the animals will be back soon. New voices will fill the space.
When life hands you lemons, make lemonade; or at least someone has to make lemonade! That is what has happened since the heart-rending attack on our goats, sheep, and rabbits. We have received donations from dozens of people from all over the metro area. Thank you all so much. The outpouring of love, support, and compassion has truly been astounding. The community has shown us they care. Even the kids! Swigert International School’s fifth grade classes organized the bake sake of all bake sales. Dozens of kids took to their kitchens to make cookies, brownies, cakes—even some gluten free items—to raise money to buy a goat or sheep for the Farm. They raised more than $1300 and they raised our spirits too, so much. Thank you Swigert!!
A Tibetan saying comes to mind, “Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength.” We are taking this sentiment to heart and moving forward. Please join us as we emerge from this sadness stronger and better than ever. The first step is to allow the sheep that were competing at the National Western Stock Show when the dogs attacked, to return to the Farm. But before we do that we must re-build our fences, making the pens secure.
Want to help? Come to the Farm Saturday, February 11 from 10:00am-3:00pm. Bring gloves and wear work boots. Kids and adults are welcome and any skilled labor would be appreciated! We look forward to seeing you on February 11.
How your friends can help: It’s easy. We are launching a special initiative to raise funds to replace our lost animals and build new, more secure, facilities to house them in. A Special Edition Newsletter will be out next week with further details. Thank you all again so much!
The 4-H projects at TUF are moving right along! Our Next General Meeting is Saturday, February 11 at 11:30AM. We have newly elected Officers ready to run the Club.
Cloverbuds (ages 5 through 7) meet on the second Saturday of each month before the general meeting and explore a little of everything about the Farm. Our next Poultry meeting is February 11. The kids take care of the poultry and their homes. The Sewing Project is taking a trip to JoAnn’s to meet with the Adams County Superintendent and learn to project shop. The kids have been making bags to keep their sewing materials in. Heritage Arts Project meets on the second and the fourth Saturday of each month at 3:30PM. They are spinning away on drop spindles using wool grown by the sheep raised on the Farm. The Goat and Sheep Project (GUS) had a great time showing at the National Western Stock Show. We even have a Grand Champion White Wool Fine Hand Spinning Sheep. We hope to get all of sheep home soon. We are expecting lambs in March. If you want to join us and participate in the Adams County Fair, you have until March 1 to get registered. Email Meri Moller for more information.
Vincent got Reserve Game with his BB Red Modern Game hen and Reserve AOCCL with WC Black Polish hen. Marcel, Vincent, Trinity and Connor all participated in poultry showmanship. Connor got Best Variety with his Blue Cochin hen. Congratulations!
For more information about 4-H email Meri Moller, TUF 4-H leader.
Farm Days Fun Days
Saturdays: 10:00am – 12:00pm
APRIL 15 – Poultry and Rabbit Fun Day – Join us in the chicken pen with our poultry and rabbit experts. Learn chicken and rabbit facts, pet our feathered and furry friends, feed the roosters and hunt for Easter eggs all around the pen, real and chocolate ones. (Free chocolate eggs. Limited supply of real eggs $6/dozen.)
MAY 6 – Sheep and Goat Fun Day – Meet our goats and sheep and their new babies. Witness sheep shearing, spinning and weaving, and learn how fleece becomes a sweater.
JUNE 3 – Gardening, Aquaponics, Aeroponics, and Bees Fun Day – Work the soil with our Master Gardener and learn about plants as you plant seeds for a “sunflower wall” and provide important food for our feathered friends. Learn about alternative gardening and join our beekeeper at the bee hives to learn how bees make honey.
JULY 1 – 4-H Showmanship Demo – In the Indoor Arena – TUF 4-H members will demonstrate showmanship with goats, sheep, chickens, and rabbits as they prepare for Adams County Fair in August.
AUGUST 5 – Cattle Fun Day – Meet our cattle as we walk with them and groom them. Learn about milk cows and meat cattle.
SEPTEMBER 2 – Horse Fun Day – Enjoy riding demonstrations by our expert, youth riders, the TUF kids. Meet our mule, miniature horses, and donkey and learn about their talents and purpose.
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?
I didn’t even know that this fabulous Farm existed less than 10 minutes from my house. When I was getting ready to retire, I was looking for something to do with animals, especially horses, and children. I came one Saturday morning and was put to work immediately helping with a birthday party and pony rides. That was 5 years ago and I have been volunteering ever since. I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting and working with the wonderful staff and the other volunteers at the Farm. My journey still continues!
What is your favorite Farm noise?
Actually, I like the Farm when it is quiet. All the animals have been fed and are resting. Walking among quiet animals just kind of puts you out into a countryside where there is no hustle or bustle. However, there is nothing like a friendly “neigh” from a horse when you approach and they are happy to see you.
What are your hobbies / passions outside of the Farm?
My family is very important to me so I am fortunate that my daughters live close and we get together often. One of my passions is traveling and I have been fortunate to be able to travel over the last couple of years to Belgium, Paris, Peru, and Costa Rico. I look forward to many more traveling experiences.
What is your favorite book / movie / music?
What is your most memorable moment at TUF?
I love to read good mysteries. I’ve read several series of books by the same author that take the main character from one book to the next and love the excitement. I am reading a series now by Susan McNeal that takes place in wartime England with Winston Churchill and spies. Fun reading! I am old fashioned and still love the old musicals with Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly and so many lovely lady dancers. I do like the new movies but they just don’t make them like they used to. I enjoy ALL types of music. Yes, even Country!
What is your most memorable moment at TUF?
As a tour guide for 5 years, I have met many a youngster with wide eyes and little screams of joy when they first pet a goat or see a cow close up. However, my most memorable would have been this past year when Gina and I had a group of disabled adults (over the age of 25). At some of the pens, it was hard to keep their attention but when we got to the horses it was a different picture. I called Yogi, our new draft horse who at the time was not real familiar with tour groups, to see if he would come over to the fence. He was a rock star! Not only did he come over, he placed his head over the fence so that each adult could gently pet him. They were all very timid but Yogi was wonderful. The last woman to pet Yogi was very scared but she gently touched his nose and was so excited she began to cry and then hug everyone and everyone hugged everyone. It was very special to see the joy and know that something we all take for granted, petting a horse, could arouse so much tenderness and emotion.
What do you love about TUF?
The kids!! The staff and volunteers who help as much as they can to keep the Farm going and the experiences like above that make you think about how lucky we are to have a little bit of wonderfulness in the middle of a city.
Thank you Urban Farm
Thank you to all our generous supporters
Scientific & Cultural Facilities District
Encana Cares Foundation (USA)
Holland and Hart Foundation
Howard and Geraldine Knaack Foundation
Robert J. Daverman Foundation
The Shaka Franklin Foundation for Youth
Stapleton Foundation for Sustainable Communities
Stonehocker Family Foundation
Verizon Foundation Volunteers Program
WW May Living Trust
Corporate and Business Supporters
Amish Furniture Gallery
Brannan Sand and Gravel
Chipotle Mexican Grill
Curves of Stapleton
The Daily Scoop
Encana Oil & Gas USA
Forest City Enterprises
Grey Wolf Architecture
Happy Cakes Bakeshop
G Food 4U: Michelle Thomas
Jim ‘Nick’s Bar-B-Q
John Elway’s Restaurants
Ireland’s Finest Painting Company
Ivy Street Design
Lawrence Construction Company
Montgomery Family Chiropractic
Mueller Equine Service
Pink Fog Studios
Pulte Mortgage LLC
The Real Dil
Safe & Security Enterprises
Savory Spice Shop
Sam Gary Jr. and Associates
The Tack Shop
Wales Land Company
The Western & English Sales Association
Non Profit Supporters
4H Program, The Urban Farm at Stapleton
McAuliffe International School: Young Philanthropist’s Foundation
Denver Police Department
First Universalist Church
Stapleton Master Community Association
Young Philanthropist Foundation
Caroline Batorowicz-Vierow and Dane Vierow
Erin and Jess Brill
Jennifer and Neil Cowan
Sarah and Charles Dodson
Gina and Jerry Dunn
Sam Gary Jr.
Alicia Torres Geary
Mary and Joe Gifford
Bradley and Christine Klafehn
Shauna Kruschwitz Flege
Sue and Ric Lassiter
Amy and Paul Marrs
Christina and Ben Montgomery
Eileen and Tony Musella
Regina and Steve Nicks
Patricia and Juan Rojas
Susan and Harold Skramstad
Liz and Rob TenCate