Hello friends! My name is Farmer Fern. My best friend's name is Nathan; he is a talented 18 year-old who designed the Farmer Fern Puppet Program when he was just 15 years old, and has written and performed plays where puppets like me, give voice to children who are often not able to speak for themselves. 

With lots of help from the Guelph Community Foundation, KidsAbility and friends just like you, we bring the joy of gardening and puppet-making, through light-hearted play, to children with Autism, developmental challenges, mental health concerns and life-altering illnesses. 

The Farmer Fern and Friends Puppet Program introduces children of all ages, and their families to nature and the environment, while building self-esteem, self-confidence and offers new skills development!

The program spotlights ‘ability’ and develops an environment where systemic barriers can be eliminated and perceptions of ‘disability’ can be reframed and where the children become “Agents of Change” for themselves and for other children who come after them.

For more information about the Farmer Fern and Friends Puppet Program, please email me at farmerfernpuppets@gmail.com

Please take a moment to meet my friends:
Nathan Gatten
My name is Nathan Gatten.  I believe that no matter what, you will always have an impact.  I want to make mine a good one!  I like working with children. One thing I noticed is that children and puppets interact well together.   I thought that children might like to learn about Nature by playing with puppets! Since I love to draw, I designed a rabbit puppet in farmer's clothes.  I love to write, so I joined in the scriptwriting. Making an impact can mean trying new things.  I became a puppeteer!  I never thought I would do that, but it is lots of fun and you make new friends.   Some of the activities I enjoy are writing, cartooning, painting, swimming, board games, sculpture, computer, cooking & working at the Guelph Enabling Garden with friends.  
Erica Gatten
Hi there. My name is Erica. I have been playing and learning with children young and old for many years and I love it! I am guessing you love to play and meet new friends, too. That is why I have to tell you about something exciting that happened to me. One day, I was strolling through the park when I came across a curious sight. A jolly clump of folks, large and small, short and tall, were gathered around two fluffy creatures having a cheerful chat. The friendly, floppy-eared fellows introduced themselves as Farmer Fern and Cousin Cassidy, then they put on a little show for us! Of course, it was a puppet show since they are of the puppety-sort. They have many puppet pals, too! Farmer Fern knows so much about the world of Nature that surrounds us and how much fun it can be! That is why he invited US to join in the fun after the show! There was puppet making and so many fun things to do. Farmer Fern and Friends can come to visit your group so you can join in the fun, too! With Farmer Fern, no one gets left behind. That's why I love him so much!
Alisa McRonald
Hi! I'm Alisa. I have been teaching fibre art techniques classes and curating textile-related gallery shows since 1998. My work has been shown in shops and galleries in New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo and Montreal. I continually augment my experience through attending hands-on workshops and lectures on various techniques including dyeing, hand-spinning and other yarn arts.  Being a part of the fibre community energizes me! I like to challenge people's preconceptions of the yarn arts and love talking about the various processes of these crafts. I even take my holidays specifically to attend fibre-related events! Please take a moment to check out my blog: http://fibreperson.blogspot.com
Lea Tran
 Hi there! I'm Lea. And so happy to be part of this wonderful puppet program dreamed up by Nathan Gatten. I've had a great time getting to know Farmer Fern and his friends. What an inspirational character!

I find joy connecting people with nature. I am currently doing this through Horticultural Therapy at The Guelph Enabling Garden, an accessible gardening space where folks of all ages and abilities can come to enjoy some peace and calm. As a Horticultural Therapist, I help people to build healthy relationships with plants and nature.

Farmer Fern has definitely been a great friend and colleague, helping to get the following important message out: Get to know and love Mother Earth! She's beautiful and spending time with her makes you realize that you are beautiful too :)
Please take a moment to visit www.guelphenablinggarden.blogspot.ca to find out what's happening at the Guelph Enabling Garden!

Louisa Krátká
Hi! I'm Louisa. I'm thrilled to be a part of Farmer Fern's circle of Friends (that Jolly Clump of Folks!) and hopefully will have the chance to visit with you soon! 
 I am a Jill of Many Trades: a bookbinder, musician and visual artist. I studied art in Halifax and Philadelphia, and now I teach art projects in Ontario schools and at art centres. I like to make things such as puppets, books, prints, woven fabrics and home-made musical instruments like copper pipe xylophones and the ear zither I'm holding in this picture. I love to sing and play the violin. 
But LISTEN! Music is happening all around us. In the springtime, the birds sing their many different songs, the river bubbles away and Farmer Fern whistles while he plants his seeds (and munches on carrots). LOOK! The flowers, tall trees, green fields, blue skies, butterflies...the wind, rain, sun, moon all inspire me with their hues, patterns, movements, smells and stories. 
Come and join Farmer Fern & his Friends as they tell stories about the nature all around them!
Sarah Oliver
Greetings fellow gardeners, my name is Sarah and I'm so delighted that my good friend Robin Redbreast introduced me to Farmer Fern and the gang. 
As an Early Childhood Educator, I have so much fun when I am rambling about in the great outdoors with a group of children.  Rain or shine, children love exploring and mucking about in all kinds of weather as long as they are comfortable and dry.  The garden provides a wonderful opportunity for outdoor exploration that engages all of the senses.  I appreciate the simpler things such as the sweet smell of a flower blossom or the taste of a fresh, crisp snow pea straight off the vine.
I also enjoy crafting and bringing new life to discarded items.  A sweater one day, becomes a child's toy the next.  You can check out my blog to see what I have been up to in my garden and sewing room at:
I can't wait to see what new and exciting adventures are waiting just around the corner.  I hope to see you there!

No comments:

Post a Comment