Children’s Conference


Children's Conference Summer 2019

We’re growing a new generation of organic farmers and nature enthusiasts. Age-appropriate, hands-on workshops are available for children 5-12. Children have an opportunity to interact with food, animals, art, the environment and more. Childcare is available for children 2-4.

All workshops will have a minimum limit which will be based upon attendance at the time. Sign up for Saturday workshops on Saturday upon arrival and Sunday workshops after lunch.


Saturday 8-9:30


Sing, Dance and March Children 5-12

We will learn a song and a chant for the parade. We will play music games with movement, percussion and singing.

Tad Hitchcock, Cook, musician, music teacher, gardener, dad.

What's the buzz? Children 5-12

Investigate life of the honeybee and importance to farms. Learn about products of hive, taste honey and work with beeswax.

Mel Gadd, Beekeeper at Drumlin Farm & Wildlife Sanctuary.

Oh My Gourd! Birdhouses Children 5-12

Bring your creativity as we design and paint dried gourds that serve as beautiful outdoor birdhouses or decorations.

Jess Downing, Science teacher, gardener, homesteader.


Saturday 10-11:30

Mini Music Lessons Children 5-12 (limit 10)

Each student will have a short lesson on piano or electric keyboard, and also a beginner's lesson on recorder. Playing music is an age-old way to socialize and connect with family and friends, and learning a musical instrument is like doing a workout for every part of your brain. We'll end the workshop with (informal) performances of what we learned.

Cheri Robartes, Piano teacher in Warwick, MA and Dorchester, MA, homesteader.

Valerie Walton, Teacher of woodwinds as well as early childhood music classes, gardener.

Wild Ways of Willow Children 5-12

We'll learn about the amazing Willow tree (genus Salix) and create things using it's super flexible branches. Come prepared to make crowns, wands, bracelets, and other easy crafts!

Melinda McCreven, Horticultural Arts therapist and a willow grower.

Bubble Fun! Children 5-12

Everyone loves bubbles! We'll use recycled and household materials to make bubble makers of all sorts and experiment to see what works best. How long a bubble can you make? Can you catch a bubble without it popping? Can you make a square bubble? Stand inside a bubble? Get ready for a bubblyishous fun time!

MariePatrice Masse, Former preschool and elementary teacher, "the funnest grandma", lover of nature and learning, The Seed Snatcher on FB.


Saturday 1-2:30

Kidpreneurs- Make and Market Organic Fruit Smoothies Children 8-12

We will learn the basics of marketing, merchandising, and sales as we make and sell delicious smoothies.  Participants will create posters, set up a sales table, and interact with customers.

Lee Silverberg, 3rd grade teacher, 4H leader.

Diana Phillips, goat farmer, herbalist, and 4H group leader.

Visit the Animals Children 2-12

Children’s Conference teachers will take children on a tour of the animals.

Visit the Sheep 1:00-1:10

Do you wonder where your sweater comes from? Come get up close and personal with the sheep.

Kim Mastrianni, raises sheep on a farm in Langdon, NH.

Playing Fowl: Caring for Our Chicken Friends 1:10-1:35

Come explore the world of naturally raised chickens for eggs and meat! We will use hands-on learning tools and discuss our experiences with these amusing and industrious creatures!

Claudia Lewis, Retired elementary librarian from Brooklyn.

Kristy Delfausse, Avid gardener; likes farm animals.

Those Silly Ducks! 1:35-1:55

Ducks give us eggs (big ones!) and meat, and they sure know how to have fun. We could sit and watch them for hours. We'll have Ancona ducks for you to pet and we'll also read some books featuring ducks and talk about taking care of our feathered friends.

Cheri Robartes, Piano teacher, homesteader, filmmaker.

Baby Goats and  Children Play and Learn 1:55-2:15

Young and older children will have a hands on experience with our goat kids, helping to feed, brush, inspect their hooves, eyes and mouth and go on a goat walk to learn which local plants and trees make good food.

Alisande Cunningham Sweeney, Has been raising dairy goats for years and loves to introduce caprine kids(baby goats) to human kids.

Meet a Draft Horse 2:15-2:30

What is a work horse? Work horses come in all sizes. We will introduce one of two to you.

Dale Perkins, Works with people and horses on a small farm in Rutland, MA.


Saturday 3:00-4:00

Parade Prep and Parade Children 5-12

We will make preparations for a festive parade. We will adorn ourselves, create music, posters and more.  Feel free to bring musical instruments, crazy hats, large sunflowers, or anything exciting you have from home. Parade kick-off will be a 4:10 leaving from the Children's Conference. Parents arrive at 4:00 to sign children out before the parade begins.We also count on adult friends to carry banners and help us chant and sing during the parade.

Children’s Conference Teachers  

Sunday  8-11:30 (and lunch)

A Morning on the Farm-Location: Hampshire Farm (driveway off of West Street)

Children 2-12

A morning at the farm is a result of a collaboration with the Farm and Garden Camp at Hampshire College. This workshop is for all of the youth. Parents drive and drop your children at 7:45 at the farm. We will do some harvesting from the fields and garden, visit with the animals, make fiber crafts and make pizza from the cob oven. We will sing a song or two with Tad.  Then at 11:45 parents are welcome to join us for lunch as they pick up their children. There will be teachers assigned for 2-4 age group and age-appropriate activities planned.

Led by Farm and Garden Camp Staff


Sunday 1-2:30

Paper Making Children 5-12

In this workshop, we will start with a recycling bin of used paper, tear it up, blend it to a pulp, and pour it over screens to create "new" paper.  

Bonny Carmicino - Mom of 3, including co-presenter. Couturier and sewing teacher; graduate of both MIT and FIT.

Quin Carmicino - Very creative almost-13-year-old. Areas of interest include sculpture, drawing, and up-cycling.

Building Fairy Houses Children 5-12

Join us to play in the land of Fairy. We will read books about the Fairies, talk about what home and shelter provide for us, build Fairy houses out of found natural materials, draw pictures of the houses, and present our Fairy homes to the group.

Pamela Kimball, Works with energy healing and creating sustainable communities/buildings.

Abstract Landscape Painting Children 5-12

Arthur Dove was a famous American painter and also a farmer. His paintings had things like trees or the moon in them, but were about his emotions and his spiritual connection to nature. We’ll go on a nature walk outside and create original paintings in his style influenced by our surroundings.

Rachel Asarnow, Artist, teacher and gardener.


Sunday 3:00-4:30

Pizza Party! Children 5-12

We  will make a pizza and while it is in the oven we will learn how to make a pizza garden at home. We will clean up, eat and sing a pizza song.

Tad Hitchcock - Cook, musician, music teacher, gardener, dad.

Angela Kearney - Owner of Minglewood, LLC, designs kitchen gardens and outdoor play areas.

Adventures in Storytelling Children 8-12

Together we will create a character and write a story about them that will help show the importance of organic practices. At the end of the workshop we will save time to join the pizza party and tell our story to the younger youth.   An exciting storyteller, Judith Black, will share a tale of a changing planet.

Sharlow Hitchcock - Recent graduate of Mount Holyoke College, educator, lover of children and stories..

Emily Hitchcock - Recent graduate of Smith College, loves kids and plants.

Judith Black - Professional storyteller and teacher.

Art From Raw Materials Children 5-12

It is fascinating to create art or craft objects using natural materials. We will take a discovery walk and gather materials on site.

Judy Isacoff, Environmental educator, nature writer / columnist and landscaper.