When I lived at Camp Redcloud in Lake City, CO we had an outdoor education program in our offseasons. Public, private and homeschool school groups would come out for a field trip filled with fun and hands-on educational experience. For three days each group of kids would horseback ride, mountain bike, repel, go through the high ropes course and canoe. Each activity – a history, orienteering, forestry, zoology, astronomy or water cycle lesson taught in a hands-on, fun way and tailored to the age group of the kids.
Our good friends John and Jamie Tenneson, along with their seven boys, recently purchased The Evergreens in Clarks Grove, Minnesota. They turned what was once the woodworking shop on the property into their home. Their home is a representation of their family, as beautiful on the inside as they are on the outside.
Autumn fun field trip
Our adventures recently took us to The Evergreens for a homeschool field trip. We arrived at the tree farm at 8:55 am, and our class started at 9 am. The adults had comfortable benches to sit on while the kids sat on a comfy rug at our feet. Jamie taught us about deciduous and coniferous trees. We learned about the ingenuity God used in creating the bark and the different layers of the trunk of a tree.
Each family was given a clipboard with a diagram of the layers of bark on a tree as well as a diagram to be able to identify all of the different Christmas trees on their farm. We then followed the Tennison’s out to the tree farm to have a hands-on look at the different ways to tell the various trees apart. Jamie also showed us how they trim their trees and the tools they can use to help create the perfect Christmas tree top.
We then ventured back to the shed to enjoy warm apple cider and to create our very own vine wreaths. Maddie, Naomi, Titus and I worked together to wrap the thin vines into a circle. Tucking in small branches and allowing others to stick out where we wanted them to. The kids then ventured outside to collect pine cones, feathers, and other treasures to decorate our nature wreath.
Classes you can take at The Evergreens
Jamie offers a wide variety of classes.
- Spring: Pond life, wild edibles/wildflowers, animal signs and maple syruping.
- Summer insect life, birds, plant identification
- Autumn: tree and fungi, seeds, orienteering
- Winter: Winter survival, animal tracking
Jamie has a wide range of curriculum they can use to teach groups who come out to learn. She is a skilled, knowledgeable, trained naturalist. She uses her knowledge, passion, and patience to inspire her love of nature to those around her.
Contact Jamie to schedule a date and time for your group.
You can give her a call at 507-391-0757 and stay up to date with The Evergreens farm at their website, Facebook or Instagram pages. There is a small fee to attend but affordable for families. For our class, we paid $3 a person, but prices will vary based on the one you take.