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during Community Garden Workdays

Saturdays, May - October

10:30 am - 12:30pm

Long ago there were many young children scampering around the farm, with all the young families who co-created Shimmering Light together.  Every Saturday, during Community Garden Workday, the kids had their own fun, fascinating activities exploring different aspects of nature.  Now those kids are grown and we are welcoming a new generation of young land stewards!

Every Saturday morning, children will be engaged in learning how to grow plants, herbs, food, and trees.  On our beautiful farm with woods and ponds, children will discover nature and people in nature, make crafts that reflect our protection of the earth’s resources, while feeling safe with her/his family nearby.  Your child(ren) may also stay with you in the beginning of the farm session, while getting used to the idea of playing with the other children.  They will play active games in order to learn about migratory birds, the water cycle, animals, and plants, interspersed with more quiet activities.

WHO:   Children ages 3 to 11 are welcome as well as those who may have physical, developmental, visual or learning challenges.    

WHEN:  This is a drop-in program on Saturdays from 10:30am - 12:30pm, during Community Garden Workdays, with room for up to 8 participants.   We do not anticipate more than 8 but should that occur, a parent or other garden member will be asked to assist in dividing the group but sharing the same prepared activities.

COST:  We are requesting a $5 contribution per child to help cover supplies and our Environmental Access Fund will provide participation for anyone who is experiencing financial hardship OR those who are Black, Indigenous, Asian, Latinx or have been otherwise racialized.

WHERE:  At the farm, 6141 Hicks Road, Naples, NY.  There are many appropriate areas for us to utilize when it is raining: open barn, large barn loft, kitchen, and Gathery.

Due to COVID-19 pandemic, all programs will follow physical distancing and face covering guidelines.  Face coverings are always required in all enclosed structures and outdoors if the situation warrants.

Our program facilitator, Annie O'Reilly, has been successfully leading indoor and outdoor children's programs at Humphrey Nature Center at Letchworth State Park throughout the pandemic.


Annie O'Reilly is a retired occupational therapist, who loved working with children through adulthood who have physical and/or developmental and learning challenges. A life-long learner, she loves to be outside and loves to be with children where the forest is their teacher and the Earth is their school.




Our Primary Herbal Guide for the year is Deb Denome.  Deb’s herbal journey commenced in 1996 when her second child was diagnosed with cancer at 6 months old.  She became, well, completely obsessed with everything that could possibly cause or cure cancer.   One day a regal weed appeared in the very center of her Celtic knot culinary herb garden and she was called to learn more about it.  A mile up the road, herbalist Angela Tiberio, guided her in building a relationship with this plant and her herb journey commenced. [Note: No, it is not a cure for cancer but is a priceless ally for women in all stages of life and, quite literally, helped Deb survive those intense years.] 

Over 28 years of parenting three children who have been powerful teachers in myriad ways and 24 years of co-creating a community educational farm, she has come to experience that our well-being is inextricably linked with the well-being of our Mother Land and the community of Beings who inhabit it. She has been blessed to study with many herbal elders including Andrea and Matthias Reisen, Rosemary Gladstar, Rocio Alarcon. Tammi Sweet, Kris Miller, Susun Weed, Judith Berger and more.

Over the past 22 years Deb has trained as an Herbalist, Reiki Master, Registered Horticultural Therapist, Certified Forest Therapy Guide, non-denominational Minister and an avid student of the Great Mystery.  She believes that our Consciousness is greater than we can begin to imagine and that we are literally the co-creators of our wild and precious lives.  People comment regularly on Deb’s ability to hold Presence.  Her greatest passion is helping others to connect with their own wisdom, and the wisdom of Nature, to support vibrant and fulfilling lives, communities and our planetary home.

Guest Guides will include Judith Berger, Becky Coleman-Efigenio and some of the members of Herb Circle at Shimmering Light Farm and others To Be Announced. 

Our primary text is Herbal Rituals by Judith Berger.  Judith was one of our first teachers and came to the farm in 2001 for a weekend herbal immersion.    Herbal Rituals has been out of print for many years, often selling used for over $500/copy!  We are ecstatic that it is available once again, print on demand.  Herbal Rituals is equal parts sensual prose, traditional knowledge and recent research and reflects Judith’s many years of communing with herbs in her native New York City and the Catskill Mountains.  Judith is planning to make a guest appearance at some point this year!

You can currently purchase Herbal Rituals via on-demand printing at Blurb.


How happy I felt when a friend from a community garden called me to ask about nettles and how would she prepare them since they sting upon touch. I instantly had answers for how I have learned how to handle them and when to use them.


That learning and so much more came through the physical, visual, tactile and visceral experiences that Deb Denome, Herbalist, has transmitted to me in the field. I've learned about the culinary and health benefits of those ordinary plants (read weeds), that I had previously pulled and cut into submission so that they would not mar the visual order of my garden or lawns, like motherwort or mullein.


I learned that plants grow up near me in profusion when I have needed them the most. How comfrey infused in oil would be my healer for a sore back and hip. I have come to appreciate this simple principle of the interbeing between plant and human.  - Annie O.

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