#EscapeWithNCAg is a year-long series that will focus on agritourism across North Carolina. Many farms, wineries and other agricultural businesses in our state offer events such as tours, yoga, educational classes, pick-your-own events and festivals, to entertain the public and teach them about our state’s number one industry. Each Thursday, we will feature a new site for you to visit with friends or family. Stay tuned and learn how to escape the stresses of life by diving into agriculture!
Adventure, learning and agriculture await you and your kids at Woodcrest Farm and Forge in Hillsborough. Growing up on his family farm, Danny Green learned a lot from his parents, including how to raise pork and beef. After college at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and 13 years living and working in theater in New York City, Danny and his wife Liza decided to take over the family farm and offer produce, meat, arts events, and educational opportunities.
In the spring of 2020, COVID-19 hit the United States and changed the way of life for many businesses in our state, including farmers. Like most parents, Danny and Liza started looking for fun outdoor activities to entertain and educate their children. “Together with my sister-in-law Tracy, we started offering fall and spring camps to kids during the pandemic – ultimately because it was something we created for our own children,” Danny said. “My father and I were both teaching blacksmithing to adults, so we started teaching forge camps for the older kids, in addition to farm camps for the younger kids.” Today, the farm caps offer interaction with six goats, sixty hens, five pigs, a turkey, geese, and many more farm animals as well as education on how to grow a variety of vegetables, including kale, beans, peas, peppers, okra, tomatoes and herbs.
One of the many things Woodcrest Farm and Forge prides themselves on is catering to their customers and basing camp experiences off time of year, seasonality of crops and current farm topics and interests. “We grow things that we personally like to eat on the farm, so not only are our camps centered on what’s growing each time of year, but they are focused on education and teaching kids today how to work and play on the farm,” Danny said.
Each summer from June through August the farm offers week-long half-day summer camp programs for ages five and up. These camps include Farm Camp, Art on the Farm, and, for teenagers, a Blacksmithing Camp. In the spring, the farm offers a Homeschool Camp that meets once a week for five week sessions. These sessions start in March and are open to youth ages 5 to 16. This year, Danny and his team are even offering tween camps for older kids who want to join in the fun. “Our biggest goal with these camps is to provide an opportunity for the community that connects them with the farm and N.C. agriculture,” he said. Farm camps typically average $250 per kid and blacksmith camp averages $300. Parents can sign their kids up online at the Woodcrest Farm and Forge website. Spring dates for Homeschool Camp have already been announced and summer camps will be released mid-January.
Attending farm camps at Woodcrest Farm and Forge not only gives kids the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and experience life on the farm, but also allows them the opportunity to learn may valuable life lessons. “The kids that attend our farm and blacksmith camps come away with real experiences, including compassion, knowledge of where our food comes from, understanding about what a plate of food costs, how to live in harmony with nature and each other, the value of hard work and so much more,” Danny said. “I like that these camps give families the opportunity to see the value of this work and the amount of dedication that it takes. We hope that by exposing them to opportunities on the farm, it may spark something in them to want to pursue a career in agriculture as well.”
In addition to farm and blacksmith camps, Woodcrest Farm and Forge also offers other opportunities for the public to enjoy the farm, including the Piedmont Farm Tour and their Fall Festival. They also have a store on-site that is open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Check out their website to sign up your kids for camp this year and start planning your visit today!