City living has huge benefits, but it does leave kids with little first-hand knowledge about growing animals and plants, skills our rural ancestors lived by.
If you'd like to give your children the gift of gentle introduction to farm life in the Amish countryside, farm day camps at Suellen Thomson-Link's Kinkoona Farm, Brodhead, Wis., may be just what you're looking for. Thomson-Link's farm is all about permaculture and naturally tending animals (primarily sheep), herbs and produce.
A licensed occupational and dance therapist with much experience
working with children, Thomson-Link and her own three kids will
lead your kids through day camps built around several themes: Life
on the Farm, Water: What a Joy, Herbs & Harvest and
Depending on which theme you choose, kids will have the opportunity to tend the animals (sheep, horses, goats, ducks) and meet Daisy Mae, the plus-size potbellied pig. They'll learn about herbs, produce and wild-foraged plants and explore the critters in the local stream.
Kinkooka Farm is a three-hour drive from Chicago, so you'll want to plan two- or three-nights' lodging for yourself in the area for some local R&R while your kids are at camp.
Farm camps at Kinkoona are held in three-day sequences
throughout the summer. Kids are there from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. and it
cost $150. While the kids are at camp, you'll have the chance for
some playtime, local exploration and reconnection with your kids in
Monica Kass Rogers