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Seasons of Stratford; an educational farm and nature preserve that's great year round

In Delaware, Ohio, there is a place where nature and farming come together to make for an educational experience for people of all ages. A 236-acre nature preserve and working organic farm where every animal has a job and you can hike to find everything from salamanders to a historic cemetery. I guess you could say I’m biased because I was lucky enough to work here, but no matter what season you visit Stratford Ecological Center, there is sure to be something great a-buzz. Here are some of my seasonal favorites.

Salamanders, frogs, & toads…oh my! Vernal Pools are seasonal but important disappearing ecosystems that become the breeding ground for many amphibians and insects as they travel back to the pools where they hatched to breed. Many of their predators live in larger bodies of water, so these seasonal habitats are crucial to the continuation and survival of the species that use them. They are safe, shallow, protected places where they can safely start a family and Stratford is home to one you can experience for yourself!

Baby Farm Animals

Does this need further explanation? One could argue this is the time of year the farm is most alive. There will not be a shortage of itty bitty lambs, calves, goats, chicks & more!

Ages 3–17 can have the chance to experience nature and farm life up close. Campers will get to go through the day-to-day life on the farm, feeding the animals, harvesting their own food from the garden, and visiting the forest daily to observe wildlife living all around the farm.

Honey Bee Festival

Pollination & the importance of honey bees is very important to Stratford’s mission. The establishment of an apiary allows the public to observe bees doing their important work right on the farm. Year round, you can see the hives up close. The festival, is a chance to relish in the wonderful foods that bees give to us, meet a beekeeper, & enjoy a fun summer day on the farm for the whole family!

Farm Chores

Sign your entire family up for a morning of fun and a lesson in where their food comes from. Work through morning farm chores with Stratford’s own farmer and get up close and personal with all of the animals!

Turn delicious apples from the orchard right on the farm into cider. With a little elbow work, the historic apple press makes delicious cider you can drink on the spot!

Harvest Fair

What better way to appreciate all of the hard work that keeps the farm going than a harvest celebration! An event with people from all over the community brings farmers, city dwellers, & more together to appreciate the beauty in nature and farming. Bring your entire family and enjoy local food, music, & more!

Stratford is home to a sugar bush…a forest used to exploit maple syrup! Take your pancakes to the next level with some delicious local syrup that you can participate in making. Sign your family up for a winter trip in the woods and see maple sap tapped straight from the tree!

Becca Mathews