Although the skies loomed dark, rain held off long enough for students of the YMCA Horizons after school program to tour our Community Farm Discovery Trail on March 30. Chris Link, our Community Farm & Food Associate led the group of about 30 AC Reynolds Middle School kids to learn about resilient Pineywoods heritage breed cattle, crop rotation, winter vegetable production, stream restoration, erosion prevention, and shortleaf pine.
He hopped on top of a watering tank to demonstrate how our off-stream livestock watering system works and brought the kids through our greenhouses and vegetable wash shed before heading down the trail loop across the farm. We enjoyed seeing several of the Pineywoods mothers with young calves in the mild March weather; one mom even walked along with her calf plus two other youngsters in tow!
The Horizons Program is a youth services outreach program of the YMCA of Western North Carolina, which partners with Buncombe County Schools to serve over 200 middle school students through free programs facilitated Monday-Thursday, end of September-May, with special activities and field trips on specific Fridays or early release days. Students have opportunities to participate in school clubs and enrichment classes, which change each semester and empower youth to develop assets and leadership skills.