At the Bensueurs Farm, we take the time to mentor the youth.
Kids (and adults) can discover untapped character strengths‚ develop critical teamwork skills and strengthen core values such as hard work‚ leadership‚ respect‚ self-confidence and responsibility. They are challenged to overcome fears and accomplish feats they never imagined. This helps them achieve personal growth, learn more about themselves, improve their self-esteem and feel they are making a difference.
We teach kids (and adults) how to properly care for the lawn, how to use a riding mower, how to garden, and care for the cows. Kids are encouraged to work together and communicate, and we also teach them how to be alert and safe at all times. We have a saying here at the BenSueurs Farm – “Keep your head on a swivel.”
Fun With The Cows
Each morning and night you can expect to be greeted by our friendly herd of cows.
They are very observant and they love treats! They will never turn down any of the veggies that are growing in the garden and they’ll eat them right out of your hand if you let them.
We started our garden with a small patch of land and extended it a little bit more last year. It was a lot of work getting the hard soil ready for planting seeds, but once we begin seeing our crops grow up it was worth all the hard work.
Each year, it became much easier to prepare to plant because the soil was already soft and easy to till.
When we first started planting, the deers got into our garden and helped themselves to most of our crops. We were disappointed, but we learned a valuable lesson: that we needed to get a fence around our garden as soon as possible, and that’s exactly what we did.
Since we’ve started our garden, we’ve grown watermelons, cucumbers, zucchini, squash, beets, peas, onions, tomatoes, carrots, corn, spinach, greens, garlic, green peppers, jalapeno peppers, radishes, potatoes, strawberries, pumpkins, and cantaloupes.
Once we pick our food from the garden, we cook it and eat it!
We also have grapevines, a peach tree, and two persimmon trees.
Gardening is a great tool to help teach kids and adults about the ways of God.
We learned that the soil of our hearts must be soft enough for the seed (Word of God) to take root. Just like we had to break up the hard soil in order to plant the seeds so they could grow, we must ask God to break up the hardness in our hearts so that we could receive His Word on GOOD ground.
We also learned that you reap what you sow (whether good or bad), and you always get back MORE than you put in. This taught us that we can sow money, time, words, etc and God will always give us back more than we gave.
There is always something to do while you’re visiting the Bensueur’s Farm.
During your stay you can have water fun, hiking on the cow trail (the cows will follow you), enjoy the pond, make s’mores in the bonfire, count shooting stars at night, practice shooting, picnic outdoors, pop firecrackers, load your 4-wheeler and go for a ride, and much, much more.
The grapes found on our farm aren’t the kind you eat, but they are good for boiling and making grape juice, jams and jellies.
We have grapevines growing all around the perimeter of the farm, and they have intertwined themselves with the trees that line the fence. Some of the grape clusters can be seen at the very top of the trees.
We used a truck, a ladder and a pole saw to cut the branches of the trees down so we could reach the grapes. We had to be very careful in the field because poison ivy was also growing up in certain spots. This gave us an opportunity to learn what a poison ivy leaf looked like and what to watch out for.
If you’ve never had fresh from the farm grape juice, you’re in for a treat. It’s nothing like the store bought grape juice.
We take the grapes, and pluck them off of the vines, wash them really good, then boil them. Once they are cooled, you strain the juice and you can either store it in jars for later use, or you can go ahead and add your water and sugar to make grape juice. Adding a little squeeze of lemon juice also gives it a nice kick!
If you’ll notice the grapes come in different colors. The blacker the grape is, the sweeter the juice will be. If your intention is to make grape juice, you’ll want to use the darker colored grapes.
The green grapes have more pectin in them which is perfect for making jams and jellies, so if you want grape jelly, you’ll want to include some of the greener grapes in with the darker ones.