By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
Students are able to learn and get dirty on a real working organic farm during the Farming 101 and Plants and Pollinators classes.
“We should call that one The Great Pigdini!” “And that one can be named JEFF!” No matter what age of students you bring down to the farm, as soon as you allow them some free time to explore, they inevitably all end up surrounding the pigs. Meeting pigs aren’t the only highlight of the day.
In the morning students work on different projects around the farm that might include harvesting and processing vegetables or moving pigs. “I love teaching kids about the effort that goes into producing their food and helping them try new vegetables,” our field manager Tori stated. One way we entice them to eat new vegetables is to have everyone create their own pizza at lunchtime covered exclusively in vegetables that they harvest themselves, plus maybe a little (or a lot) of cheese. It’s an amazing sight to see kids who just the day before wouldn’t even think about touching a vegetable, now chopping vegetables and somehow trying to fit all of them onto their small pizza crust.
After the pizza lunch, the class shifts away from work projects and dives into the science behind making a farm function like soil chemistry, pollinator diversity, and photosynthesis. All of which helps shift their perspective and give them a broader understanding of the US food system.
If you want to take the excitement of the farm back into your house or classroom the kids have a few ideas to share with you:
- “You can dye your hair green and hopefully you will photosynthesize so you can always be eating while you are outside.” -a North Shore Community School 6th grader
- “You can start a microgreen garden. Just simply plant some pea seeds, place them in a warm place and with a little water you can have fresh greens in 2-3 weeks, even in the winter!” – a Fall Farm Class chaperone
- “Connect with a local farmer to hear their stories and buy local produce” -Wolf Ridge Farm Manager, David Abazs