Sharing farm life with children for two generations.

Photos & Notes from Privious Summers


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Photo Highlights and Love Letters

From Summer 2010


...And thank you for the experience you have given him these last two years.  I wanted to pass on what he said just last week.  He was talking about why he wanted to go back and said "you wake up and the mists are still over the fields, and it's quiet, and you go to the barn and are with the animals."  Writing doesn't seem to do it justice.  It was such a beautiful moment, listening to him describing it.
Lissa R - 2010

If only you could hear Camille as she arrived back in Maryland - We've enjoyed endless stories of so much fun at the farm! Gracie the dog curling up in her lap during a thunderstorm...goats stealing her hat as she walked by...bunnies chewing her shirt...a dog following her around the day she wore a pair of pink pants...freedom to enjoy the here and now without the annoying interruptions of clocks.  We've also enjoyed many "Will and grampa Richard" stories! In fact, I think we got as many stories about Richard this year as we did about the animals (his dry wit and pride in his new tractor did not go unnoticed....we understand you're now "about 100" years old).  Of course, we also get to provide Allison with updates on the family from her summer camp of 30+ years ago!  Although we are moving to Atlanta soon, this distance will never stop Camille from carving out a week in her summer for this most cherished time.  Many thanks for the gift of a unique time and space.
Katy R & Tom S - 2010



We just wanted to thank you for taking such good care of our daughter, Isabella, last week.  She had the most wonderful time and we are so thankful that our city girl got to have that experience.  She talked non-stop (literally) about her time at the farm for our entire 6 1/2 hour drive back to Chicago.  It seems that she loved everything and couldn't think of one thing that she didn't love about her time there.  Riding out the huge thunderstorm in the barn will probably be a memory that she keeps forever.  Below is a note from Isabella...
Carrie and Ed D - 2010


I had an excellent time at the farm last week!  All the days were so fun.  I love being at the farm--there is so much stuff to do.  I loved playing with the bunnies in the rabbit area and sliding down the hay chute.  Some activities I liked doing were shelling corn, milking the goats and washing the dishes.  Some other great things were watching the bunnies play and watching the kittens jump for feathers.  When I was at the farm I felt really at home because I was living there.  Everything was so natural and I loved it.  Thank you for having me!
Isabella D - 2010

Thank you, thank you for the wonderful experience you provided our little Phoebe last week!  Her face positively glows when she starts talking about her time at the farm; she talked non-stop for our first hour on the way home, until exhaustion overtook her and forced her to take a break from her detailed description of the week.  Richard, apparently Phoebe thinks you are the funniest adult she has ever met... she went on and on about how funny you were (and she told us that Penny says that Richard's like having another kid around!)  I could tell that she was so proud of herself for her independence and for all that she did and learned throughout the week; one of her first questions when she got in the car was, "Do you think the Barkers will invite me back?"  I was so nervous about sending her at such a young age, but she was so adamant about wanting to go... I'm so glad we took the leap and sent her, as it was an experience that she will never forget and one that will add a little extra fertilizer to her growth as a person!  I hope she was a positive contributor to the farm, as she would certainly love to come back.  Thank you for sending the photos... her eyes lit up when she saw them and the chatter began anew!  She loved having a picture of the raised bed that "she built"! 
Susie and Chuck D – 2010


Thank you for the photos!  Amia really enjoyed both sessions this summer.  She was quite exuberant when regaling me about her experiences on the drive home. That's saying a lot, as she usually tends to be a quiet, more introverted girl.  She had a fantastic time, and we so appreciate what she has gained "on the farm".  Hope the rest of your summer goes well.  We'll be looking forward to next year!
Sarah E -- 2010
PS- the story Amia told me about Penny, live yeast and husky puppies was enthralling! ;-D

Thank you so much for giving Jacob a wonderful farm experience during the week of June 14th. He was so glad that he went and he hopes that he will be invited back. It was fun to hear all of the stories that he had about his time there. We appreciate you taking such good care of him. We asked him what he learned from his experience on the farm and he said, "Hard work can be fun" and "Be kind to animals." Again, thank you for letting him visit your home.
Karen & Mark C - 2010

Thank you so much for the experience my girls were privileged to enjoy.  Bridget and Margaret loved every minute of their time on the farm, they even have their favorite chores!  Being able to send my six year old to 5-day overnight camp and know that she is safe and enjoying her experience is a luxury that I wouldn't have enjoyed at any other camp.  Both girls said they could have stayed "much longer", and when asked if they were homesick, Margaret replied, "NO!" and Bridget said, "I think it was a few minutes Monday afternoon!"  I am so jealous of their experience and so excited for them to realize that they can experience the world away from home confidently and happily. They looked so refreshed and healthy when I picked them up, I wish I could bottle that look, I would make a fortune!  I know they will be coming back next year for at least one session.
Heather F – 2010

Thanks so much for sending the photos.  We had a great time looking at them and Eli explained to us who or what we were seeing.  His favorite photo was of the dogs- I think Eddie might be his new best friend.  Eli had an amazing time with you at the farm this week.  He got into our car and started telling stories, jokes and riddles, and didn't stop talking until he fell fast asleep (late) last night.  This from a child who, when asked what he did at school that day, usually answers "Stuff."!!  You obviously made an impression, he was exhausted and needed to sleep but kept thinking of one more thing he needed to tell.  :)  We're currently in the mountains of Pennsylvania, and when we went blueberry picking today, Eli wore his hat.  (he REALLY likes his hat). Thanks again for having Eli and making his time at the farm so wonderful. He was so happy to be there and had so much fun.  He was so proud of the work he did and the things he learned.  He's already talking about attending the Open House next year so he can show his cousin Finn (Paige's little girl) around the farm, and he's hoping hard to be invited back again for next summer.
Thank you, thank you, thank you-
Parke W – 2010 (re: 2nd generation visitor)



Thank you, Richard & Penny, and the rest of the Barkers, for the wonderful week Sophie just had again at your farm. Her tears at "pick-up" were all I needed to see to know that she had another memorable week with you. You are all such special people for taking children into your world for a week every summer, creating such powerful memories for them that last a lifetime. Thank you so much!
Michelle L - 2010


Thank you for the wonderful experience of "farm camp" that my daughters, Inali and Iman, enjoyed with you. They are each completely different kids, as you may have noted, and they both came home having had their own unique experience. Iman especially noted how much fun it was to wash and dry dishes and put them away in such "beautiful" cupboards ("I did it 8 times Mom!") Inali told me of one morning how she sat quietly and watched the farm come to life and that roosters don't just make a racket in the mornings...  The river walk was a huge hit and the freedom of just being able to do "whatever" pleased them to no end. By the time they were within 30 minutes of home, Inali began to notice familiar landmarks and couldn't stop appreciating them -- I guess it's true that going away is great, but being home again is great too. I don't think she knew that before this trip.  Thanks so much for EVERYTHING. It's an experience we are so glad that we were able to give them. 
Jackie & Darren H – 2010

Jonah was looking at the pictures you sent from his week at the farm again today, and chatting all about the subjects of the photos…. His grandparents picked him up and drove him back to us in Wisconsin.  Upon their arrival the next day, Grandma got out of the car with this bemused look on her face and whispered to me "he's like a different child.  He's so calm."  For our often anxious child, that says a lot.  What a gift for him to be in a place where sitting still in a desk is not required, and you are able to make so many choices within the rhythm of a predictable day.  We've been hearing a lot of stories that start with "I chose..." and can hear the pride that he feels.  
We've also heard a lot about the food, and the kitten that died.  Our own cat has a vet appointment on Friday, and he insisted that I schedule it so that he could go along, because he "knows a lot about helping animals feel better."  
Enjoy what must be a spectacular Fall in your part of the world, and thank you again for the work that you do.
Maelanie K - 2010

Thanks for sending the pictures!  The kids just had a wonderful time.  They came home relaxed, content, and tired!  Garrett is really proud of all that he accomplished, and last night Meridith kept crying because she misses the farm so much.  (It's hard to believe she is the same girl who kept crying a week ago because she thought she was going to be too homesick!)  Thank you for allowing the kids to have such a fabulous experience. 
Marcie D - 2010

I went to the country school farm from 2001 to 2006. There are so many wonderful memories from the time I spent at the farm - starting to build the sheep barn in my first year; milking the goats every morning; making salad with Penny; making hay; Richard's stories; and all the daily chores and projects.
I'm in my first year of college at Kenyon College in Mt. Vernon, Ohio, and I plan to major in biology with a pre-vet focus. Hopefully you're all doing really well! 
Dakota D – 2010

Ann and I want to express our gratefulness to you for Joyelle's experience on your farm a few weeks ago. She had a wonderful time and continues to tell anyone who will listen about her adventures. For the first 3 hours of our return home, she chirped about her discoveries, fell dead asleep for a couple of hours, and then resumed her descriptions for the balance of the drive to Chicago. She was, of course, thrilled with the animals and her mastery of new skills. Mostly, she was touched by the gentleness of all of you, as well as the interactions with new friends. When we enrolled her earlier this year, we hoped her week at the camp would be the highlight of her summer and it far exceeded our dreams.  We look forward to the opportunity for Joyelle to return next year. We hope you enjoy a restful and contented fall and winter. 
Kevin V – 2010


I would like to thank you all for the wonderful weeks that I was there for this summer. I enjoyed both immensely, and cannot thank you enough. Each week I’ve been there has been unique and priceless time on the farm. I have cherished every moment …and will continue to cherish the farm all my life. Attached are a few poems that I wrote, shortly after departing from the farm. Do not feel obligated to read them, I just felt I wanted to send them. Again, thank you so much, and may you all have a wonderful year!

My Goodbye   -  8 – 28 – 2010
The farm around me
My last moments here
The car before me
It’s much too near

No words exchanged
‘Tween this place and I
But none are needed
For my goodbye

I’m in the car
I look behind
And see the yard, the house, the barn
And the memories flow from my mind

Of hatching chicks
And squeaky beds
A tear falls
A smile spreads

Perimeter Trail    -  8 – 27 – 2010
Wet shoes
Tired legs
Wet pants
Tired feet
One walk

Perimeter Trail
Cold nose
Cold toes
Frozen fingers
Dew lingers
Big smile

Perimeter Trail
Wet shoes
Cold nose
Tired legs
Cold toes
Wet pants
Frozen fingers
Tired feet
Dew lingers
One walk
Big smile

Clara F – 2010


Must tell you how much our grandson Matthew loved the farm.  While he is very quiet, he does bring up the farm experience.  Today he told me how he loved the wild blackberries and how much better they were than the ones at the store.  As he said, no fertilizer Grammy.  There are always memories of the farm and the time he spent there.  He hopes to be invited back and his sister Betsy who is 6 wants to come too.  I hope you will invite them next summer.  I am so grateful for all you did for him.  I praise the farm to all my friends. Thank you. 
Ann W – 2010


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Last Update: 11/26/17
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