After what seemed like one big rainstorm throughout the month of April, May (and almost June!) are finally upon us with sunshine and warm weather. For those at Boys Home who help on the farm, moving toward summer means plenty of work to be done!

Students and staff members have been busy preparing the field and planting the crops. So far, they have planted several plantings of potatoes, corn, and onions in the lower field, as well as lettuce and peas in the greenhouse and raised beds up on the upper campus.

Many Boys Home students have no experience gardening or thinking about how their food grows. Starting with potatoes, they learned how each crop needs to be planted – whether in a deep hole or shallow one, if the seed or start needs to be right side up, and how much dirt to cover each one with. Some students are excited to see the plants grow, while others simply regard the planting as another chore. Davin was extra careful to check that each onion start got planted right side up, and then he was especially excited to see the “baby taters” growing into healthy plants! Brayden was curious to know why they didn’t just plant onion seeds instead of starts, and Cody was a little less interested in planting the onions – but he did admit to liking them on hamburgers.

For the students who aren’t interested in planting, they still get a reward for all their hard work! For the past several weeks, students involved in the Boys Home Equine Program have been tasked with helping on the farm. When the planting work is done for the day, each boy has time to groom, play with, and possibly ride a horse. The equine program runs three days each week and is aimed at teaching young men respect, responsibility, and self-control through caring for and interacting with horses.

No matter what the students prefer – planting, working with a horse, or a little of both – the chance to be outdoors and experience farm life is never a bad thing!