River’s Edge offers farming, day camp experience for youth

Published 6:04 pm Friday, June 15, 2012

Campers stand in a field of sunflowers in a previous year’s farm and day camp at River’s Edge in Green Creek. (photo submitted by Barbara Childs)

River’s Edge in Green Creek offers a farm and day camp experience for youth in first through ninth grade. The program combines traditional camp activities of hiking, games, sports, arts and crafts, cooking, singing, drama, dance, native American lore, swimming and kayaking – all in a working farm venue.
Located on the Broad River in the southeast corner of Polk County, River’s Edge offers 18 acres of meadow and woodland. The property is the dream of director/owners Lance and Heather Smith, who are celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the farm this year.
The one-week sessions, from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. each day, are designed to offer children a glimpse of the cycles of life that surround and sustain them. At the River’s Edge Farm the chickens are raised and live there, supplying eggs for cooking projects with campers and several families in the area. Goats supply milk and cheese. Pigs digest the garden scraps, and they also feed the campers with fresh pastured pork. All the animals supply the needed fertilizer to produce fresh vegetables that make up daily snacks for the campers.
The gardens at River’s Edge Farm are planted with heirloom tomatoes, a variety of peppers, corn, beans and okra. Onions, lettuces, zucchini and cucumbers are used for making everything from omelets to salsas.
According to the Smiths, the favorite activity of campers is digging for potatoes – they said one would think potatoes were made of gold with all the excitement campers find in digging for them in the dirt. Only a short time later they are tasting a potato that has been roasted over a fire.
A “salt-shaker hike” is a favorite afternoon activity as children and staff head to the garden armed with salt shakers and baskets to taste vegetables off the vines and plants. No petro-chemical fertilizers are used at River’s Edge Farm, and the gardens are all pesticide-free. The farm hopes to raise enough vegetables for the camp, the deer, and anything else that happens through.
Four one-week sessions will be offered beginning July 2. Polk County Transportation Authority offers transportation to and from camp; pick up and drop off is at the Red Cross in Columbus.
For more information, contact 828-863-4688 or riversedgeprogram@windstream.net. The address is 4008 Poors Ford Road, Rutherfordton, N.C., located one mile from Meadowbrook Golf Course.
– article submitted by Barbara Childs

Campers weigh a basket of onions from the farm during a previous year’s camp session at River’s Edge. (photo submitted by Barbara Childs)

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