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Ed’s Corner

The Fifth Season

Well, we all know we have winter, spring, summer and fall, but did you know there
is a fifth season? It’s Sugaring Time. Coming right between winter and spring, it can last for 2 weeks or close to two months.

It’s all dependent on the weather. Cold nights and warmer days are what’s needed for the buckets on our maple trees to fill with the clear, sweet liquid we call ‘sap’. We then boil the sap until it turns into that amber aristocrat of all sweets – maple syrup!

I hope you can make one of the two maple sugaring programs we will be offering this Saturday, February 24th. The purpose of the program is to give you enough information to identify a maple tree, show you how to ‘tap’ it, how to collect the sap, and how to boil it down to maple syrup. Each family will take home a sheet of instructions and your very own spout.

Sugaring is a great family activity – everyone can get involved in some way and the syrup you’ll make will be the best syrup you’ve ever tasted in your life!

Looking forward to seeing you as we celebrate our fifth season.

Upcoming Event: Winter Tales with Chuck Stead – January 13th

Every Friday at camp, master storyteller Chuck Stead spins funny, poignant, outrageous and true stories of his childhood and growing up in the nearby Ramapo Mountains. When the weather turns cold and winter has really set in, Chuck tells us his Winter Tales – stories that sparkle and glimmer like the snow and ice of January.

Join us for this free public program from Noon to 1 PM on January 13th at Green Meadow Waldorf School (307 Hungry Hollow Road, Chestnut Ridge NY 10977)! Open house afterward from 1 – 4 pm.

Upcoming Fall Events

24th Annual Food and Farmers Festival this weekend

When: Saturday, September 23rd, 11 am – 4 pm

Where: The Hungry Hollow Co-op Market @ 841 Chestnut Ridge Road, Chestnut Ridge NY

Join us at the co-op’s annual celebration of farmers and local food producers, featuring live music, grilled local food, organic cotton candy and popcorn, nature walks, hay rides, cider pressing (with us), and more!

Admission to this fun family event is free and your support of the co-op and local food producers is very much appreciated.

       

Green Meadow’s Fall Fair – Hope to see you there!

 

When: Saturday, October 7th, 10 am to 4 pm

Where: Green Meadow Waldorf School @ 307 Hungry Hollow Road, Chestnut Ridge NY

Join us for Green Meadow Waldorf School’s annual Fall Fair. We’ll be there pressing apples into cider and welcoming autumn back into our lives. A wonderful family event with activities for all ages! Stop by any time between 10 am and 4 pm. Additional details can be found here.

See you there!

Our Fall Open House

 

When: Saturday, November 4th, between 1 and 4 PM – by appointment 

Where:  Meet at the Lower School Building @ Green Meadow Waldorf School: 307 Hungry Hollow Road, Chestnut Ridge NY

The best way to learn more about The Nature Place is by coming to an open house. We’ll take you on a tour of camp, give you a full picture of what we do and why we do it, and answer your questions about the ins and outs of camp.

Please email us in advance at camp@thenatureplace.com to set up your appointment.

Sheep and Wool Festival, and Camp tours, too!

Sheep and Wool Festival!

When: Sunday, May 28th from 10 am to 4 pm.

Where: 285 Hungry Hollow Road, Chestnut Ridge NY 10977

The Fiber Craft Studio hosts their 7th annual, family-friendly Sheep and Wool Festival! Visitors can engage in hands-on carding, spinning, weaving, felting, knitting and plant dyeing. Featuring fuzzy, approachable sheep, goats, and bunnies; craft vendors and artisans selling natural fiber items; a silent auction; puppet shows; and delicious food! Plant-dyed yarns, fibers, craft kits and clothing patterns produced by the Studio will be sold at the Festival.

Admission is free. A small fee will be charged for the activities. All proceeds from the Festival will benefit the Fiber Craft Studio.

Camp Tours, too!

If you are considering camp for this summer, but have not made it to one of our Open Houses, join us for one of two camp tours at 10:00 am or 12:00 pm on Sunday the 28th. Tours will leave from the Sheep and Wool Festival and will answer all of your burning questions about camp!

We will also be hosting our final Open House of the season on Saturday, June 3rd at 1:00 pm. If you would like to join us, please RSVP to camp@thenatureplace.com. We will meet at the Lower School Building of the Green Meadow Waldorf School–307 Hungry Hollow Road, Chestnut Ridge NY. Hope to see you there!

Maple Sugaring at The Nature Place

On a particularly frigid March 4th we tapped maple trees during two sugaring programs. While the cold kept the usual hordes at bay, many brave maple fans came out to learn all about how to tap trees, collect and boil sap, and to enjoy thick, sweet syrup over crushed ice, accompanied by a dill pickle.

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Autumn Open House – Sunday, November 20th

Our autumn open house will take place on Sunday, November 20th, between 1 and 4 pm. Families interested in learning more about The Nature Place can visit us any time during those hours for a tour of camp, a slide show of summers past, and because it’s fall, a chance to press apples into apple cider!

Savoring fresh-pressed cider

Savoring fresh-pressed cider

Open House & Spring Peeper Hunt

Join us this Saturday, May 7th, for our camp open house between 1 and 4 pm. We’ll take you on a tour through the garden, past the pond, and around much of our campus (although not the full 200 acres!). We’ll also show you a slide show of photographs from past summers, hopefully answer all of your camp questions, and you’ll come away from visiting us with a good feeling for how and why we do things at The Nature Place.

Peeper

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can join us this same evening, Saturday, May 7th, at 7:30 pm, for our annual spring peeper hunt. We’ll meet in front of the lower school building at Green Meadow Waldorf School, 307 Hungry Hollow Road in Chestnut Ridge, NY.

Hunting spring peepers successfully takes a keen ear, a sharp eye, stealth, and above all, patience. We’ll tromp through the small swamp behind the farm on a search for these tiny sirens of spring. The male frogs emit a loud ‘pee-eep! pee-eep!’, which allows us to echo-locate our targets, carefully treading over hillocks and sunken logs until we are close enough to shine a flashlight on the spring peeper. If we’re lucky, after a minute or two, the frog will start singing again, and we’ll see his vocal sack bulge out as he peeps, like a bubble blown from froggy bubblegum.

This event is in the dark, in a swamp! Please attend in high rubber boots, clothes you don’t mind getting swampy, and a sense of adventure. Flashlights are a must. This program will be easier for children ages six and older. Attending with younger children is OK, but you might decide to stay along the edge of the swamp.

Wild Edible Walk & Open House

Join The Nature Place this Sunday, April 17th, from Noon – 1 pm, as we’re led through the ripening woods on a wild edible walk, guided by wild food forager Paul Tappenden. We’ll learn to identify a variety of edible spring plants growing wild throughout our Nature Place campus, in what’s predicted to be perfect, 70 degree spring weather.

Stick around afterward for our open house to learn more about camp! Our open house runs between 1 and 4 pm. If you’re unable to attend the wild edibles program before hand you can just stop by anytime between 1 and 4 pm to take a tour of camp, see a slideshow from summers past, and get your camp questions answered.

Our Wild Edible Walk and open house will both meet at 307 Hungry Hollow Road, Chestnut Ridge, NY 10977.

Paul Tappenden holding up a burdock leaf

Paul Tappenden holding up a burdock leaf

 

 

Open House this Saturday, April 2nd

Join The Nature Place for our open house this Saturday, April 2nd, any time between 1 and 4 pm. We’ll show you around camp, answer any questions you have about this coming summer, and provide you with an overall picture of what, how, and why we do what we do!

Daffodils, blue bells, and hyacinths are popping up all over our campus, we hope you’ll show up too!

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Open House this Sunday, February 21st

Join The Nature Place at our next open house – Sunday, February 21st, any time between 1 and 4 pm.

We’ll show you the ins and outs of camp, give you a full picture of what we mean when we say ‘non-competitive and nature-oriented’, and share a little of the magic and wonder of a summer at The Nature Place.

Our open house takes place in the lower school building of the Green Meadow Waldorf School, 307 Hungry Hollow Road in Chestnut Ridge, NY 10977.

On top of the world - hiking in Harriman Park last summer

On top of the world – hiking in Harriman Park last summer