Day 9 – Excursion Day to the Panchuk Family Farm

On Tuesday morning staff woke everyone up, and it was time to take a giant yellow school bus 1.5 hours drive north to the farm where Maxine grew up. On the school bus everyone had a scavenger hunt, looking for things like a beaver house, triangle shaped house, no hunting sign, and maybe a moose. It was a beautiful drive through lots of flat farming and agriculture area, and then the landscape become more forested and hilly (but still lots of farming). Saskatchewan has 40% of Canada’s land that can be used for farming. On the way everyone saw lots of wetlands area that is crucial for the survival of many different types of animals and birds. Canada has 25% of the world’s wetlands, and many wetlands around the world have been destroyed which is a scary thing.

Riding the yellow school bus to the farm

When we got to the farm, we went over to the garden and helped to do some work. Groups helped to weed the beets, cucumber, zucchini, beans, peas, potatoes, dill, and corn. Some groups helped to bury our camp compost that we brought with us, and other spread compost around the plants. Some people harvested some beets and dill (which we will eat later), and others planted some lettuce. Some people even tried to pull out some burdock, a very strong and very invasive weed that is taking over the land.

We had a lunch of Elk chili that was hunted from the area and everyone who wasn’t a vegetarian got to try it. It had different locally grown vegetables in it, just like the other food we have at camp. Can you believe that later in the day we had more chocolate chip cookies for a snack?

After lunch we went to see the sheep, and got to feed them some chop and a few even let us pet some. There were adult sheep, as well as some lambs that were born in April. The sheep are so cute, and so were the cats Fireball and Walter.

After feeding the sheep we went for a nature walk through the farmyard, and into a more wild pasture area. There was so many different wildflowers in bloom and they were so beautiful. The sun was shining and it was a hot day! When we got back to the farm we needed to have a water fight. The farm has a well that gives cold water from the ground, and everyone got splashed and soaking wet an it was a ton of fun!

After drying off a little, we thought a little bit about the importance of farming and how the population is growing and we won’t have enough food for everyone in 2050 unless things change. We also talked about the importance of the wetlands as well.

We started a fire in the middle of the farmyard and roasted some hot dogs and had more smores. Everyone loves smores because they are so tasty! The bus ride back was full of more singing, and the bus driver complimented the group on their beautiful voices.