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Hands-On Farm Experience Program in Kane County

With the conclusion of the work and school week for many, Saturday is typically a day for sleeping in. However, at Primrose Farm in St. Charles Township, the day started early with work underway by 8 a.m.

Juliet Jeanblanc from Wheaton expressed her excitement about the day ahead, saying, “I’ve never milked a cow or gathered eggs, so this is going to be fun.” Although reluctant to wake up early, she was nudged out of bed by her mother, admitting, “Usually, I’m in bed until about 9. My mom had to wake me up. I was a little crabby.”

From 8 to 10 a.m. on Saturday, Primrose Farm, in collaboration with the St. Charles Park District, hosted a farming experience called “Wake Up and Work.” This program, introduced last spring, offered a variety of classic farm chores such as feeding animals, milking cows, and collecting eggs.

After completing the chores, participants were treated to a hearty country breakfast featuring waffles, bacon, fruit, and more.

Patty Kennedy, the program supervisor at Primrose, shared that the initiative was well-received last year, prompting its return this spring with two sessions already held in 2023. With a full roster of 12 participants, Kennedy highlighted the opportunity for parents and children to engage in farm activities together.

Spring was chosen as the ideal time for the event due to the presence of calves, baby lambs, and chicks on the farm. Kennedy emphasized the value of close interaction with farm animals, allowing the public to gain a deeper appreciation for agriculture and the origins of everyday products like milk and wool.

Excitement buzzed among both parents and children as they prepared to immerse themselves in the farm experience on Saturday.

Maureen Jeanblanc, Juliet’s mother, explained that their visit was motivated by a love for animals and a desire to instill a sense of giving back in their family through volunteering activities.

Kit Bingham, a farm worker leading the program, shared insights about the milking process, highlighting the potential yield of more than 30 pounds of milk from a single cow in a morning.

Brad Jeanblanc, Maureen’s husband, reflected on his own childhood experiences with farm chores, emphasizing the sense of responsibility instilled by such tasks within a family setting.

Visitors like Diana Leska from Chicago and her daughter Luna expressed their eagerness to engage in farm activities not commonly found in urban settings, underlining the educational and exciting nature of the experience.

As families and individuals gathered at Primrose Farm for a day of hands-on farm work, the spirit of learning and exploration was palpable, bridging the gap between urban life and the agricultural roots that sustain us.