This page now contains the updated list of 2023-2024 projects.
Projects are offered based on what adult volunteers (and teen leaders!) are interested in leading that year. Some projects rotate in and out, others (like Laying Hens) are a regularly occurring project.
4-H youth in good standing can apply to raise an animal at the Crystal Spring Farm (CSF) by being a member of the appropriate project. All projects for animals raised at the CSF farm are currently hosted by the Burlingame-San Mateo club, with Belmont co-leadership on the CSF poultry and garden projects. At present, members can sign up for:
Steer (through Burlingame-San Mateo)
Swine (through Burlingame-San Mateo)
Lamb (through Burlingame-San Mateo)
Market Goat (through Burlingame-San Mateo)
Dairy Goat (through Pacifica, but the animals are still at Crystal Spring)
Market Turkey (through Burlingame-San Mateo)
Market Chicken (through Burlingame-San Mateo)
Show Chicken (through Burlingame-San Mateo)
Youth must be at least 9 years old to raise animals for market/dairy (and 12 years old for steer, with prior experience raising another large animal). This is for the safety of the youth member. Members are responsible for going to the farm every afternoon to care for the animal and practice showmanship, and they can form a rotation for the morning feeding. Most animals arrive at the farm in winter and are auctioned at the County Fair in June. Members must also participate in "farm cleanup days" in addition to cleaning up after their own animal.
Raising an animal teaches youth about where their food comes from, animal husbandry, and promotes responsibility.
This year, members in rocketry will be using a pneumatic rocket launcher to learn physics! Members will explore how changes to the rocket's fins, nosecone, and fuselage affect its flight. Each meeting will explore a different aspect, and members will make a hypothesis and then test it out in practice.
This project will be limited to members 9+. Meetings will be held on the second Saturday of the month at 10:00am. There are no additional fees.
Laying Hens is a great project for younger and new members who want to participate in the farm, but with lower responsibility! The club buys 20-30 baby chicks, and we raise them at the farm to "pullet size"; this is the age just before they start to lay eggs. This takes about 3-4 months, and we raise 2-3 batches of chickens each year. The pullets are then sold to the Peninsula Feed Store as a fundraiser for our club; the store then sells the hens to farmers and backyard chicken keepers. Our hens are prized as they are very friendly after being handled by children so often! A few chickens may also be kept for show chickens for the county fair (members who wish to do this will need to also join the poultry project, will need to care for their show chicken daily, and will need to rehome them at the end of the school year.)
Laying Hens members are on a weekly rotation to care for the baby chicks, which makes it a very nice "introduction to the farm" project. As with other farm projects, youth must participate in farm chores during cleanup days to keep our farm looking beautiful. Meetings will be held when the chicks arrive and when they leave.
Any age may participate; this project is especially popular for new members as it is a low-effort way to start getting involved with the farm.
Many projects and activities in 4-H are designed for older youth, but this one is explicitly for the members 5-8 years old! The project meets monthly and has age-appropriate activities to engage with the community, encourage healthy living, and discover the projects availabie in 4-H. Activities throughout the curriculum focus on the following four topics: Knowing Me, Knowing My Family, Knowing 4-H and Knowing My Community. There will also be activities during some business meetings so that younger members can avoid budget discussions. This is a great way to meet other new 4-Hers, have fun, and learn more about the club.
This project is designed to be taken each year for up to 4 years, with new activities every year. Upon completion, members will receive an iSprout pin for their hat.
Meetings will mostly be on the weekends, but may move time and location based on the activity each month.
Learn how to care for and raise a rabbit. You’ll learn about what different kinds of rabbits there are, what they eat, their anatomy; we’ll visit a rabbit expert, and a rabbit breeder’s competition. This project goes through May.
Rabbits are kept at home, not at the farm. Rabbits may be shown at the County Fair.
Members will meet monthly to learn about different types of public speaking, practice their skills, and workshop a presentation to give at Presentation Day in February. In the second half of the year, we'll get further practice and explore impromptu speeches.
This project is open to members of any age. Meetings are held on the 1st Saturday of the month at 9:30am. There are no additional fees.
Members will learn about how to care for and ride a horse. Members will need to show that they know each skill before moving onto the next skill. You do not need your own horse to participate!
This project is only open to members 9+. Meetings are held on Saturdays or Sundays twice a month at the ranch; members will be broken into smaller groups for safety reasons. There is a $10 materials fee for each meeting.
Learn to cast on and off and the knitting stitch. We can do pearl when you are comfortable with knitting. You could learn to knit by making a pincushion and then you can create your own scarf. You learn how to use different types of yarn and how different size needles make different types of stitches resulting in a variety of projects. You will need to bring needles and yarn and work on your project at home in between meeting times.
Members will hike at a variety of local trails beginning with shorter, easy hikes and gradually advancing to moderately difficult hikes. You will learn how to prepare for a hike and Leave No Trace Principles. A docent-led nature walk will also be scheduled in order to learn more about local plants and wildlife.
Each meeting will be around 2 hours depending on length of the hike. The beginning of each meeting will be dedicated to introductions/icebreaker as well as going over expectations. Members may also propose and plan a hike which will require some work at home to develop their skills in planning and preparing for a group hike.
Tentatively 3rd weekend of the month, alternating Saturday and Sunday. Time based on weather and location. Hikes will most likely be in San Mateo County Parks. Any age welcome.
You will learn and practice basic sewing skills while making garments and other items before Fashion Revue in late April. You will gather your tools and materials for the project, and may use my machines.
Each month, members will learn about a different type of tabletop game: deck building games, resource games, worker-placecment games, campaign games, and more! Members will also design their own game.
Open to all ages. Meetings are the first Tuesday of the month at 6:30pm. There are no additional fees.
In the crafts project, we will be learning about different crafts and techniques. We are aiming to sell crafts at the December Craft Fair and showcase our products at the June County Fair and the Life Skills Festival that takes place in spring. Meetings will be twice a month for an hour and half until December, then they will be once a month. Meetings will take place in San Carlos, and we will figure out times based on doodle polls. You will need to buy your own supplies but you can keep your proceeds from the Crafts Fair.
Members will make different types of jewelry (earrings, bracelets and necklaces, pins, rings, and hair clips), with the goal of having some to sell at the Craft Fair in December and others to enter into the County Fair at the end of the year.
Open to members of all ages, though requires dexterity. Meetings are the fourth Tuesday of the month. There is a $20 material fee.
In the writing project, you will be advancing your skills in 2-3 subjects, public speaking, writing strong confident stories, and your handwriting, if necessary. In the writing project, you will be writing about 2 or 3 things in the year. At the first meeting, everybody will share subject ideas and then you will get stickers, and you will put your stickers on the ideas that you like.
Open to members of all ages. Meetings are the third Tuesday of the month. There is a $10 material fee.
Gardening and composting
Note: the new garden beds are not complete, so the garden is temporarily on hold.
Our farm animals make so much manure! What to do with it? Turn it into compost for our garden! Members will join our Master Composter to learn how we take stinky stuff and turn it into healthy dirt for our plants up at the farm. During the compost meetings, we will learn the basics of how to build and maintain piles. We will study by experience what happens with the compost piles as we add new ingredients, turn the piles, and water. We will learn how to keep our piles hot and how to avoid stinky messes. Turning compost piles is a good workout, so participants should also expect an opportunity to get outdoors and get some good exercise.
Open to members of all ages. Meetings are on the first Saturday of the month, 3-5pm.