Welcome to TwoCowgirls, the blog about our crazy life in Downtown Saint Paul!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Farm School - Sheep

For the next few Thursdays, the girls and I will be going down to the farm for Farm School.  Today was our first class!  The inspiration for this class came from my favorite nature study blog, handbookofnaturestudy.blogspot.com.  Here's what we did today at our first day of Farm School!

The first thing we did was read a few passages out of The Handbook of Nature Study.  I underlined a few of the important facts I wanted her to observe while we were out with the sheep.  After that, Grandpa Howard gave her a little lesson of his own.  She got to take his lesson notes home with her, and proudly showed Dad what she learned.  Lady thinks she's a teacup poodle, and tried to sit on Millie's lap during class.

Two of the sheep had early babies (due to a ram escapee last Fall), so we spent some time with the two ewes and their sets of twins.  Grandpa Howard told Millie she could have one of the lambs as her own.  She's so excited, and is planning out little Daisy's future.  While we were in the barn, we talked about sheep teeth, the shape of their legs, how the escape from predators, how they take care of their babies, what we can understand from their body language, etc. 

After lunch, Millie took a look at wool under the microscope.  She compared it to Siamese cat and poodle fur, and recorded her findings in her nature journal (which as of right now is just a piece of paper because "someone" forgot to get a nature journal from Michaels)

Grandma 'Ria showed Millie how to tell if fabric is wool vs synthetic by the way it burns. 

Grandpa, Elise, and Millie took a few minutes to tap some Maple trees, too (although they think they might have missed their "window of opportunity"). 

 The entire while, supper was cooking in the crockpot.  I made Lamb and Lager stew, which smelled soooo good, and tasted really good too.  Both kids and Bud ate their entire supper tonight.  Success!

Here's the recipe I used (from The Best of Cooking Light Everyday Favorites)

Lamb and Lager Stew

1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 1/2 cups diagonally cut celery
1 cup diagonally cut carrot
2 T Dijon mustard
1 t salt
1 t dried oregano
1/4 t black pepper
2 lbs lamb cut into 1" cubes (I used 1 lb)
1 lb baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4" cubes
1 12 oz bottle amber lager (I used Grainbelt Nordeast)
4 garlic cloves, crushed
3 thyme sprigs (I sprinkled in thyme from my dried spice collection)
1/2 c fat free, less-sodium beef broth
3 T cornstarch

Combine first 12 ingredients in an electric slow cooker.  Combine broth and cornstarch.  Add to lamb mixture, stir well.  Cover and cook on high 1 hour.  Reduce heat to low, and cook 6 hours (or in the case of my crockpot, 3 hours) or until meat is tender.  Discard thyme sprigs.  Serve over mashed potatoes or rice with a green salad.

What did Elise do while Millie had sheep class today?  She ate, hung out with Grandma, ate, picked berries, walnuts, acorns, and "fairy hats", and ate some more. 

Grandma and Grandpa gave Millie a great book as a "parting gift".  What a fun day.  We're so lucky to have a farm to go to, and Grandparents that enjoy spending time with, and teaching my girls!


  1. What an incredibly awesome experience for everyone. I am so beyond jealous that you have a farm to go to. Berry picking already though? What? Please share!

  2. Michelle, the berries are old dried up berries that are still on the vine from last summer ;)