Volume 2 Issue 4

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Page 24 | Abby's Magazine - Cure Organic Farm: A Different Kind of Summer Camp by Radha Marcum It's the first week of June and it's the first day of Cure Organic Farm's sold-out weekly summer camps for kids aged six to nine. As I walk into the large sunlit yard behind Anne and Paul Cure's modest ranch home, a handful of parents and kids linger at the picnic tables, enjoying the mid-a ernoon shade. The hot hoop houses, where insects tap loudly against the clear plas c, are brimming with heirloom varie es you won't see at the grocery store—from Tiny Tim tomatoes to black bell peppers. At the back of the yard, a parent pleads with his daughter to leave the chicken coop and head home. "Honey, the chickens will be there tomorrow." She is unconvinced; she does not want to leave. It's this kind of enthrallment with animals and plants that Anne and Paul Cure, founders of Cure Organic Farm, look forward to cul va ng in children every summer. "We call six to nine years the 'enchantment years,'" Paul tells Organic Connec ons. "When kids garden, when they have a chance to interact with farm animals at this age, it really influences them." Children are introduced to the task of catching chickens on the first day, and it's o en the animals they fall in love with first, notes Anne. Then they fall in love with plants. This season marks a decade of summer camps at Cure, which now grows over 100 varie es of organic vegetables, herbs and flowers on 12 acres just six miles from downtown Boulder, Colorado. The farm provides fresh produce, eggs and meats to families and restaurants within a fi y-mile radius of the farm. The CSA (community supported agriculture) program feeds up to 180 families during the summer. "Our goal is to show kids where their food comes from, to teach them about the ecology of a diversified small farm," Paul explains. "It's all part of our mission to grow healthy food on land that we love, and to complete the circle by connec ng the community to the land where their food is grown," adds Anne. "We also want to dispel the 'bacon tree' myth," says Paul. "Kids don't usually have a problem with knowing they are ea ng the animals that they know from the farm. The parents some mes do, though." For children who already enjoy the farm's produce at home (via the CSA or farmers' market), farm camp affords the perfect opportunity to take that connec on to local food even deeper, Anne points out. "There's the immediate gra fica on of seeing the seed you planted come up. They've watered it. They've weeded. All of a sudden there's a living thing, and they made it happen!" Kids know the difference between real work and the busy work that others tend to give them, she muses. When they come to the farm, they feel empowered. Each year, the Cures hire two full- me educa on interns to lead the camps. With just ten kids accepted into each week's program, the interns really get to know each child and have the opportunity to impart knowledge and skills gleaned from their studies in biology, ecology or agriculture outside the farm. "It's a learning process for the interns too," says Paul. "They develop a sense for what works for kids and what doesn't." Anne grew up on a farm in Upstate New York, the youngest of six children. Paul grew up in suburban Detroit. When they decided over a decade ago to make a living by farming, Paul had some hesita on, but he says that the ming was right. The farm-to-table restaurant philosophy was just taking off in Boulder, with chefs like Kimbal Musk and Hugo Matheson

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