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StoryWalk beckons at Powisset Farm

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By Amelia Tarallo 
Hometown Weekly Staff

Given my line of work and the areas I cover, every so often, I'm sent to explore a local park or hiking trail. I appreciate nature, but typically avoid going out into it as much as possible for fear of snakes, bugs, and the occasional patch of quicksand.

I haven't encountered that last item, but I don't doubt that it's out there, somewhere. 

However, in the past few months, I've discovered a fondness for Powisset Farm. I've attended a few of their cooking classes and the lighting of their holiday hay bale tree and enjoyed them. But I’d never had the motivation to actually walk the picturesque grounds of the farm itself.

Luckily for me, I'm a reporter, and my job occasionally involves tossing myself into settings outside my comfort zone. Also luckily for me, my visit to the farm really didn't take me too far out of said comfort zone.

I’d arrived at Powisset Farm with my father for StoryWalk, which involves digesting a book while walking along the trail by reading a page at a time from strategically-placed stands. The story changes every six weeks or so, so that families can revisit and read a new book along the way.

I began my pleasant walk from the parking lot to the first story board - a welcome departure from my first visit a month or two ago, which was derailed by a fever and inclement weather before I could make it through the book.

This time around, I was in impeccable health and found the first board easily. The story this month is "Big Chickens Fly the Coop," by Leslie Helakoski. I could already tell I was going to like this book, because the cover featured four anxious-looking chickens. Perfect. I, too, am always slightly terrified of the unknown. A page in, and I was already identifying with the protagonists!

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My father and I continued on our way, reading each page of the story while we went, all while admiring the fantastic scenery of the property. We managed to make it over the stream (which had been completely flooded the last time I visited - another reason, besides illness, that my last StoryWalk attempt had turned out less than successfully). Most importantly, we finished the story this time around. The walk itself was relatively easy, too, with book stands placed in easy-to-reach areas.

“The choice of the trail is very intentional, as it is easy to walk with children and meanders around the back grazing fields, which provide a new discovery for families,” explained Powisset Farm Director DA Hayden. “We try to choose family-friendly walking trails for StoryWalks at all three properties.”

From the perspective of this somewhat nature-phobic reporter, it was just what the doctor ordered.

“Big Chickens Fly the Coop” continued on with some comedic trial-and-error, some unwanted encounters, and the chickens’ ultimate realization that all they needed was a little bit of courage to succeed in their endeavor.

And I followed suit.

As my father and I ended our hike, walking by all the bat houses and spotting the various landmarks of the farm, I realized that perhaps I do, in fact, like the outdoors a little more than I thought.

More information about Powisset Farm and its myriad activities - including StoryWalk - can be found at www.tiny.cc/PowissetFarm.

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