Horses and doughnuts and guests, oh my!

Blue Water Center Visit and Therapeutic Horseback Riding 

As anticipated, the month of October has been a busy one at Special Dreams Farm. On Friday, October 13th, Helen Paul and her fellow instructor, Annette Reeves of Red Tail Acres Equestrian Center brought their pony, Dolly, and their horse, Jackson to the farm for therapeutic riding lessons. Helen has been teaching special needs riders for over 30 years! Helen works with children and adults with cognitive, emotional, and physical challenges. Annette has been giving therapeutic riding lessons for 6 years. It was an amazing sight to see- the beaming smiles on the farmers’ faces when they were working with the horses.

We had other guests on the farm that day, as well. Students from Blue Water Center for Independent living spent the day at the farm. A few of our farmers showed them the ropes on completing daily farm chores, offering a great opportunity for leadership roles. The students from the Blue Water Center also spent some time learning to build picket fence sections, and mulching around trees in the orchard. They also got the chance to partake in riding lessons with Helen and Annette. For many of them, it was their first experience with horseback riding. After lunch, the day ended with a wagon ride back to the woods.

UPS Volunteers

During a very busy time of the year for UPS employees, a group of 21- both retired/current UPS employees dedicated Saturday, October 14th to volunteering their time at Special Dreams Farm. Each year, a group of UPS volunteers spend the day dropping trees in the woods, which is later gathered, brought up to the barn, and split by the farmers for the season’s firewood supply. This day that they contribute each year keeps the firewood operation going through the entire winter! We are very grateful for the help that this group offers us.UPS volunteers

Last but certainly not least…doughnuts!

Yesterday, Chef Ann led a group of farmers in cooking class. One Tuesday each month, the menu items are selected and farmers learn how to perform simple tasks in the kitchen and follow a recipe. After the feast is prepared, the group sits together at the farmhouse table and enjoys the meal together. During this cooking class, farmers prepared vegetable tortellini soup and cinnamon sugar doughnuts! Delicious would be an understatement to describe this meal! cookingclass2cookingclass4doughnutsdoughnuts2

The less enjoyable part of cooking class day is continuing work after everyone is too full to move. 🙂 

 

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Thank you, Chemical Bank!

On Monday, October 9th, as many banks and other facilities were closed for Columbus Day, fifteen Chemical Bank employees spent their day off volunteering their time at Special Dreams Farm. Chemical Bank employees showed up to help on the farm from banking centers in St. Clair, Marine City, the Port Huron Water St. location, Wadhams location, as well as, Bryon Center (which is nearly three hours away!)  The volunteers spent the day raking and preparing the outdoor horse arena for the upcoming therapeutic riding lessons and painting the white, picket fence surrounding the farm. Chemical Bank provided the needed painting equipment for the job, as well as, donuts, water, and lunch for all on the farm that day. By the end of the day, some were covered in white paint but all had put in a hard day’s work to benefit a cause. Special Dreams Farm sincerely appreciates the support we receive from the community. We enjoyed our day with the volunteers from Chemical Bank. We hope that they did, too!

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We are FALLing for this weather.

It’s fall on the farm.

rainy fall day

Michigan made us aware of the season change this week with an abrupt temperature drop. We started the week in T-shirts and we are ending it in flannels. Fall on the farm means switching gears. This week, we have been harvesting the tail-end of our vegetable crops (spinach, green beans, and tomatoes).

produce

October will be a busy month for us. Farmers have begun splitting wood to fill the wood racks. This will be an ongoing project throughout the winter. In October, we also look forward to beginning leather class-where farmers will be crafting wallets, purses, belts, and many other awesome projects to place in the general store!

On October 13th, Red Tail Acres Equestrian Center will be bringing horses to the farm for therapeutic horseback riding lessons. On that day, we will also be joined by our friends at Blue Water Center for Independent Living.

Of course, we will continue with weekly sewing class and cooking class toward the end of the month. We are going to try our hand at doughnut-making! We look forward to everything that fall has to offer us. Stay tuned to catch a glimpse of our busy, upcoming month!

picking beanspreparing spinachcutting spinachsplitting woodcleaning the chicken coopsewing class

 

Once upon a very hot day in September…there was an open house.

Special Dreams Farm held their 9th annual fall festival and open house yesterday on a very hot and sunny September 24th. The hot weather did not keep people from stopping by to tour the farm, take a wagon ride back to the wooded trails, get to know our staff and volunteers, and enjoy barbeque from the grill as well as an abundance of desserts. Many farmers brought their friends and family to exhibit the hard work that they’ve been doing around the farm. It was a great opportunity for farmers to get to see their work come to life, as the farm was filled with people to admire the farm that they help maintain. It was also great to see many new families visiting, in search of new opportunities for their special loved one. Overall, it was a beautiful day at the farm, filled with fun, even if brochures had to double as handheld fans!

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There were several guided tours taken on the wagon ride through the woods.

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One of our farmers, Justin, having fun at open house.

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Hot weather doesn’t stop youngsters from playing on a straw pyramid.

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Loading up for another wagon ride

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Grill master, Keith

 

 

Now we return to business as usual here at the farm, which looks a little something like this:

Welcome!

This is the official welcome to the blog at Special Dreams Farm! If you have never heard of us before, take the virtual tour of the farm via photographs under the gallery tab. Through this blog we hope to share our story.

We will keep you updated on what’s happening around here- whether it be work our farmers are doing, special events that are taking place, fun we’re having, or home-cooked meals we’re eating!

The blog will be featuring farmer photos, videos, and stories. We hope that you find yourself feeling connected and yearning to read and follow more.

Our farmers are currently working hard to get the farm looking awesome for our annual  Fall Festival and Open House on September 24th being held from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM. There will be tours, great food, wagon rides, ice cream, and lots of fun. We would love to have you out. Stay tuned on the blog to see pictures from our big event!