Survivorship here in Sheboygan County, does have some privileges and unique opportunities! For many of us, one of those are our visits to the Christopher Farm & Gardens (CF&G)!
Above Photo - From the CF&G website: Located along the western shoreline of Lake Michigan is a 50-acre private botanical garden. The Christopher Farm & Gardens is approximately 500 acres, the gem being the many themed gardens connected by a network of walking paths. www.christopherfarmandgardens.org
Our first visit to this incredible location, that truly has to be seen and experienced to be appreciated, was in May of 2017 (see PDF for photo). Since then, CF&G has been so very gracious to us and we have returned thirty-two more times; twenty-two of those visits have occurred since the start of the pandemic, during which time these visits have provided area cancer patients/ survivors and co-survivors a place to connect while so many other opportunities have been interrupted.
I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Erika Lusthoff, Director of the Christopher Farm & Gardens, to begin planning for the upcoming months!
UPDATE - 2021 Survivorship Through the Lens at CF&G Photo Book: We were especially fortunate to visit the CF&G at least once a month every month throughout 2021! Each visit included a “Survivorship Through the Lens” component and you can view the many photographs (about 300) taken and submitted by participants on our website - www.scccf.org/contests. Jay Christopher (owner of the CF&G) and Erika will be selecting their favorite photos from throughout the year to be published in a photo book that should be available soon!
ST&BF at the Christopher Farm & Gardens “POP UP” Visits: As in recent years, many of our visits throughout 2022 will be scheduled as “POP-UP” visits (see related article in this issue – “What is a ST&BF ‘POP UP’ activity?” We are tentatively planning our next “POP UP” visit to the CF&G between March 29th and 31st that will include another opportunity to “Wander the Wonderful Gardens” and a “Bonding Bonfire”!
PHOTO (See PDF) - Survivors enjoying a “Bonding Bonfire” during a “POP UP” visit to the CF&G on February 18th, 2022!
Earth Day Restoration Project: Rob (Land Conservation Manager at CF&G) is planning another “Earth Day Restoration Project” that we may be able to assist with sometime in late April (Earth Day is April 22nd)!
Additionally, there may be other opportunities for us to lend a hand and contribute to the beauty of thes CF&G, including an invasive species removal project (late May or early June) and an end of the season workday!
PHOTO (See PDF) - Mike & Chris Meyer, cancer survivors, carefully plant one of many native trees and plants during last year’s Earth Day Restoration Project!
National Cancer Survivors Day – Sunday, June 5th: For the third consecutive year we will be celebrating National Cancer Survivors Day at the Christopher Farm & Gardens! Mark your calendar for Sunday, June 5th! Last year’s event included a chance to “Wander the Wonderful Gardens”, a brief kite-flying session (the winds didn’t cooperate), Rob took us on a Vegetable Garden Tour, we heard from several speakers while enjoying a box lunch and finished the day with a ride on the Dairyland Express (a fully functioning 16-gauge amusement train ride on a quarter-mile track layout - PHOTO - See PDF)!
If you have any ideas for this year’s National Cancer Survivors Day event, please contact Tim!
2022 ST&BF “Survivorship Through the Lens”: Last year’s “Survivorship Through the Lens” project included more than a dozen visits to the CF&G and about 300 photos! We’ll do something different this year. Watch for details!
Great Heights with Delightful Kites: April is “National Kite Month”... and the CF&G is the birthplace of the ST&BF “Great Heights with Delightful Kites”! So, watch for kite flying opportunities in April and throughout the rest of the year!
“Bob the Builder” Planter Box Workshop with Flowers & Plants Provided by CF&G: “Bob the Builder” Hartig has offered to do another “Planter Box” workshop using his unique “wedged mortise & tenon” technique that requires NO SCREWS, NO NAILS, NO GLUE!
Completed plant boxes can be filled with succulents, plants, or flowers during a visit to the CF&G! If interested, contact Tim so we know about how many to plan for. Dates/times of workshop & CF&G visit to be determined.
PHOTO (See PDF) - Variety of plants offered last year!
A Summer Game Gathering! Watch for a Summer “POP UP” Game Gathering to be held alongside the outdoor fireplace at the CF&G Conservatory!
CF&G Transportation Museum Visit: The grand opening of the expanded CF&G Transportation Museum is expected later this year... and we have been invited for a return visit following its grand opening! (PHOTO - See PDF)
SPECIAL FUNDRAISING EVENT: Mr. Christopher and Erika have been so gracious and accommodating to us over the years... so I inquired about the possibility of a unique and exclusive fundraising event at the Christopher Farm & Gardens. It is too early to share any of the details... but I am excited to report that they have been very receptive of the idea and are taking it under consideration! Watch for details!!!
Thank you in advance to Jay Christopher, Erika, Rob and the wonderful staff at Christopher Farm & Gardens for giving us so much to look forward to in 2022!View PDF