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Patterns in Nature at Boulder Knoll Farm

A workshop at the community farm looked at how nature repeats patterns in plants, animals and galaxies.

The farming season is well underway at Boulder Knoll Community Farm. Along the rows of vegetables and herbs,  participants in Saturday's "Patterns in Nature" workshop looked for examples of shapes and lines in the plants.

Environmental Educator Julia Meurice explained how patterns such as concentric circles, spirals and hexagons can be found throughout nature; in water ripples, star galaxies and beehives, respectively.

The two-hour long workshop also included a study of items collected by Meurice for their intricate patterns; rocks, a butterfly wing and even a snake skin (hexagons). Participants then used that insight to create pattens on paper.

A natural dye made from pokeweed berries created a deep purple liquid that became the base for leaf printings and other patterns. Yellow from dandelion petals and green for mugwort leaves brought more color to the natural artwork.

Boulder Knoll Farm is part of town-owned protected land that is leased by a non-profit group that operates a "community supported agriculture" farm or "CSA."  About 50 shares of the farm were sold this year to members who pay for weekly "shares" of the harvest. Members also voluntarily work on the farm to help plant, weed, harvest and organize the operations of the CSA which is in its second year.

Several more free public workshops will be offered this season according to the farm's website: http://www.boulderknollfarm.com/

  • The Ground Beneath Our Toes, Sat., May 28 , 1-3 p.m:

"As part of our "Springing into Nature" series, join us as we plunge into the earth for a look at soil ecology, decomposition and soil makeup! Using GPS maps that indicate Boulder Knoll's 3 soil types, we'll dig soil pits at different locations, compare their makeups, and talk about how forests and farmers use different techniques for building soil. Bring your scientific mind and a willingness to get "soily"! All ages, free. Please register at educator@friendsofboulderknoll.com>"

  • Learning Wild Edible Plants, Fri., June 3, 4pm – 6pm

"Many of the plants we consider weeds are actually delicious salad additions, and Native Americans used wild food stocks for hundred of years. We’ll walk around the farm’s perimeter and into the forest to explore what kinds of wild foods occur where, when and how to eat them. Participants will help collect ingredients for a wild salad! Bring an open palate, we will be taste-testing! Free but please RSVP to educator@friendsofboulderknoll.com."

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