Bees + Chickens at Smith Playground
We spent the better part of today at Smith Playground in Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park. Smith Memorial Playground and Playhouse was built in the late 1800’s and was one of the first playgrounds in the country. The statuesque playhouse stands overlooking the enormous 6 acres of playground. Smith has been a place for generations of Philadelphia kids to play.
Today was “Play-A-Palooza”, an event celebrating the opening of the playground for 2015. Philadelphia organizations are invited to come and teach kids, young and old about science, nature, sports, and more. Organizations like The Hactory, The Arden Theater and Whole Foods Callowhill were there. We were invited to come and talk to kids and their families about urban farming. We packed up 2 chickens, an observational beehive, beekeeping equipment, a honey tasting kit, and drove over to Smith. Upon arriving the chickens and bees were greeted with much celebration. We had a shady spot underneath a tree and were able to put the chickens in a pen in the grass, but not before our Easter Egger Hen, Ethel jumped out and ran around the playground.
Hundreds of kids stopped by our stand asking “Are those real bees?” and “Do you keep those roosters?” In just the past 4 years we’ve learned so much and we’re able to answer most people’s questions. The adults were really intrigued by the different varieties of local honey and wanted to know why different pollen resulted in varying colors of honey. They kids were all fixated on trying to find the queen, which we spotted multiple times throughout the day.
The day was a real success, kids are hilarious and it’s great to get people used to the idea of legalizing backyard chickens in Philly, and get the word out about how people can help save the bees.