July 5th Serve Day

Hey Memphis area teens and families, we are having a Serve Day this week. Friday, July 5th from 8-11 a.m. you can come to the farm and lend a helping hand, work with our awesome teen leaders, and be part of the farm fun. There will be plenty of cold water, just bring your bottle to refill.

Wear clothes and shoes you can get dirty. It’s outdoor work!

See you at the farm!

Amazing Internships!

These are the most exciting days at the farm - Summer Youth Internships! Teens from all over the area become interns at the farm to learn every skill we need to run life at the farm. They weld, drive tractors, manage resources, care for over 200 rescue animals, it’s just amazing! Last week they were learning new skills that help them become more confident in themselves.

This week they are finding how powerful they are as they learn to see assets in one another. When we work together to build life, we are community. THIS is what “Building Life Together” is all about. I am so proud of this group of interns. After they graduate on Friday, each one will qualify to work as paid staff at the farm. We are so grateful to all the supporters who give to make this mission possible. What an honor it is to be community with you.

SUMMER Serve Days - Hot Hot Hot!

It’s here - SUMMER! This Friday and Saturday we are offering serve day opportunities for teens, families, and civic groups from 8 to 11 a.m. each day. Last day of May and first day of June - what a great way to start the summer.

We will be getting animals moved, prepping the shop for the upcoming Youth Training Programs, and probably eating our fair share of popscicles - just saying!

Come share the morning with us May 31, (8 to 11) or June 1, (8 to 11). See you at the farm!

Farm Life ROCKS - and wiggles too...

Check out this news!

There is so much going on at the farm, I can hardly keep up. During the past 10 weeks of Serve Days, we have seen new babies born on the farm, new rescues join our farm fresh family, and whole new parts of our ecosystem emerge! Our new baby lambs, Cooper and Curly are growing stronger every day, and they have started to wean from their mamas. That means they want more attention from us - ok I don’t mind that so much. We also have several new ducks, chickens, baby chicks, and even a new horse, Charlie Brown. The farm is just brimming with life. You can view our newsletter here.

If that wasn’t plenty, we just became home to a brand new worm farm! That’s right, the richest soil nutrients you can find, and we are growing it intentionally as part of our symbiotic relationships in our ecosystem of the farm. See what I did there, threw in a bunch of cool science words. That’s because the farm is all about STEM. We use science and engineering every day at the farm. This means that we make a great place for school field trips.

Check out the rockstar in this photo who came to the farm as part of a homeschooling group having a soil and garden day at the farm . It’s a great way to spend class time outdoors. We have heaps of field trips planned this season, and we are excited to have all the kids out at the farm. Watch this space for more news on that! If you want to have a group visit at the farm, contact us and we will get you all the information! See you at the farm!

Spring SERVE Days are BACK!

The farm is brimming with life - and we invite our community friends and families to come share with us this season! Spring is FINALLY here, and it is a wonderful time to be outside. There is so much to do at the farm now, too. We have animals being born or rescued every week, and babies everywhere. There are two new lambs and heaps of chicks. We have more hatching all the time. With all this new life and the winter weather behind us, we have a lot to do to make sure everyone is safe and the farm is ready for them all. Please sign up to come help. We want you to come to the farm.

Click on the Serve Day link to sign up NOW!

Why Power Tools and Teenagers Make Sense

When people ask us what we raise at ARK Farms, my answer is, “A generation”.  When a group of teenagers from all walks of life get together, even if they wouldn’t have anything in common otherwise, at the farm their mission is simple: Make life better for the 140 or so rescue animals that live there.  We don’t tell the kids what needs to be done, we ask them. Every youth empowerment intern or farm volunteer will gladly tell you that the place we call ARK Farms is THEIR farm.  To take the best care of it they may learn the science behind animal wellness, how to drive a tractor, or welding skills because it is part of repairing a sheep enclosure. Is it crazy to turn teenagers loose with axes, power tools, and heavy machinery? Are we nuts to trust the farm to kids, to let them learn from their mistakes, to ask teenagers to give up their spare time to do real farm work? Check out what one of our Youth Empowerment kids has to say about it:

“Thank you for contributing to our farm, the place where I’ve learned some of the most important things of my life.  It was here where I learned both skills for my future and virtues for the present.  Typical school education just provides raw information that is expected to be repeated at some later date, or it teaches (excruciatingly slowly), mindsets that help you comprehend concepts only in a certain class, like in algebra.  This, however, it terrible! I feel that learning through experimentation and error is far more effective, first because you remember things better when you figure them out, plus you learn tenacity and teamwork like this, too! Well the farm provides exactly these opportunities to make mistakes. No instruction book, no guidelines, just problems that require common sense, logic, and creativity to solve them.  Also, the endeavors are a good bit more enjoyable than school assignments, but don’t tell anyone I said that.”                             

With Gratitude, Devin

 

What I know about this guy is that he is a super student, an over-achiever, and his favorite thing about the farm is that he gets to learn through failure. He depends on others for feedback, works in teams, asks for help. This generation needs space to figure stuff out without fear that it might cost them.  They need to be trusted, to work together, to find purpose in what they are doing – and to have fun.  If you agree with Devin that “their” farm is important to the success of the kids in this generation, then please give.  What the kids run with sweat equity we must pay for with real money.  Please help. You can send a check to ARK Farms at the address below, or go online at cometothefarm.org/donate and become a monthly sponsor so we can have a reliable budget for these kids to work from. Want to raise this generation with us? We invite you to share in this work. Thank you for considering the part you can play in developing the kids who will one day be leaders in our communities.  I’m glad that Devin will be one of them!