8 weeks go by so fast!
Thank you to our volunteers, members, donors and supporters – you helped a lot of children find kindness, unconditional love, and healing at SALI’s Farm! And thank you to our animals who just seem to know what each child needs!
The children’s groups started the first week of October and will be ending this week. Once we get past the half way mark, it goes by so so fast! It was a whirlwind with our largest number of groups ever:
Atira Transition House
Betty Huff Elementary
Lena Shaw Elementary
This was the first group to interact with Gracie & Peanut and they were a huge hit with the kids. One of the Animal-Assisted Activities was to give Peanut her bottle, but that was quickly taken off the list. As Peanut grew, so did her strength and her urgent need for the bottle. It became too much for the young children to handle, but they didn’t seem to mind as they enjoyed hugging her, brushing her and walking her. Gracie is a gentle giant and was brilliant in all her activities with the kids. The children were so empathic towards her visible injuries and scars and were determined to care for her. It has been such an unexpected highlight to share with the children Gracie’s pregnancy and all things mother and baby.
Activities with Louise included treating his bad foot and supervising him in his wheelchair. Louise evokes a lot of empathy in the children and he is a favourite to hold and cuddle. Louise is the most popular one to get a photo with and he is in scores of photo albums that we make up for the children. Henrietta shows the children that it is ok to have boundaries, as she is one standoffish hen. However, the children love her because she always leave a surprise for them in her nesting box. The children run over to the coup to see if they can be the first to find her egg. We make sure they ask her if she doesn’t mind if they take it and to thank her.
We don’t celebrate Halloween at the farm with the children. Instead it’s all about Fall Havest. And this means PUMPKINS! The children each get their own pumpkin which they scoop out, sort out the seeds and cut up the shell for cooking. The seeds get roasted with all sorts of different seasonings and this is their all time favourite snack (just ahead of freshly baked pumpkin cookies). The shell gets steamed or roasted. The steamed pumpkin can be pureed for hummus, soup, cookies, muffins, etc. The roasted gets made into soups. The children had fun experimenting to see which of our farm animals like cooked pumpkin. Result: chickens, goats, and horses. We had so much steamed pumpkin that we gave some away to SALI volunteers for their dogs. Pumpkin is a super food not only for people, but also for dogs. We know that whenever the children see or smell pumpkin they will remember their time at SALI’s Farm.
With all these groups ending this week (except for Wrap-around & Lena Shaw), we will recoup, re-organize, clean, sort and strategize for our Spring groups.
If you would like to volunteer with the Children’s Groups, please check out our volunteer page here
Keryn Denroche, Found/Director & Chief Bottle Washer