I am very worried about my son’s carrot seeds. Our school agricultural day is only a few weeks away and so far all we have is a shallow tray of seed-raising mix with no sprouts in sight. I have a sinking feeling even if they do manage to sprout, the results will be sparse to say the least.
When my kids started attending our local primary school I was very excited to see they ran an annual agricultural (ag) day. I grew up in the country and have fond memories of taking Sally the lamb and Katie the calf along to school and making flower sand saucers. The ribbons I won hung proudly on my walls. Whenever I visited friends I would secretly count the number on their walls to see who had more. So when it came to getting my children ready for ag days I figured, “I’ve got this one covered – my kids will be in the hands of an ag day super mum”. Even though we live rurally, we only have a suburban-size section and have neighbours on three sides, so having a calf was ruled out due to space and we all know how much noise a lamb makes when hungry.
The day-old chickens the school offers from a local producer seemed a far more sensible option, so we put our order in and came home with three cute little chicks. We had to keep them indoors under lights for a few weeks. Each evening we would let the kids cuddle them on the couch. I borrowed a hutch from my parents’ farm and when they started getting feathers I decided to pop them outside in the sun to get some vitamin D while I worked at home. An hour later I went to check on them and was horrified to see a gaping hole in the wire, our dog lying on the grass with a dead chicken between his feet and the cat sauntering across the lawn licking its lips. Ag day mother fail – big time! The kids were devastated and no amount of teachable parenting moments about life could make up for it. Lesson learned. Since then we have opted for the miniature garden competition. We have found Pinterest a fantastic resource of ideas for vegetable animals and displays, and sit down with our son and let him browse, plan and choose what we would like to do. He has a great plan for this year’s competition – finger crossed the carrots will sprout.
We would love to hear about your Ag day ideas and any traditions in your community – which hopefully are more successful than ours.