sheep shearingThis week the three oldest have a unique opportunity.  They are helping a largw local farm with its “farm days” tours.  There are a number of informational stops set up around the farm.  Schools then bring students for a tour,  They learn about how a dairy farm works, but also about things like Christmas trees, sheep, donkeys, and water.  The kids thought that overall it was pretty neat.  Joe said kids ask a lot of the same questions, like, can we climb in the wheel well of the tractor and have you drive it.  They did ask other good questions, but that one stood out to Joe.  Dorothy was at a station where the kids could make butter by shaking cream in a jar, then taste test their butter against store butter.  Joe’s only criticism was that, “they don’t tell you you can do it yourself.”  The sheep station was what brought that up.  He said they told the kids to hire someone to shear the sheep, send the wool to someplace “in Arkansas” to turn it into yarn.  Then, at butcher time, call the butcher shop to get it done.  If you want a sheep skin rug, send the hide to someplace in Indiana.  This from the boy who hand shears his own sheep, giving the wool to a lady in Tustin who can card and spin her own yarn.  When he had a lamb to butcher, he and I did it ourselves.  He ran out of time to tan the hide, but he has tanned several deer hides and will try the sheep fleece when we do one of his spring lambs later this fall.   It was an interesting observation from a 12 year old boy.  I guess education can be many things–not all of which are in books.