A first draft of the MFCC Farm and Garden Education Toolkit was presented to a small group of teachers, parents, school staff, farmers, gardeners and students at Antioch University New England on December 3, 2009.
In addition to viewing a slide show of photos from the toolkit’s ten case studies, the group offered feedback and next steps for strengthening young people’s connections to local food and farming.
One suggestion was to post the case studies and other sections of the toolkit onto a blog – to share the information and initiate more networking and discussion. This is the first of many postings!
Please feel free to share your questions and comments.
Help us brainstorm! Below is a short list of youth farm education programs or initiatives in our region.
Do you have others to add? Add them to the comments section below or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cornucopia Project: The Cornucopia Project is a program committed to teaching young people about healthy nutrition. The project involves integrating work in a greenhouse and school garden into the school curriculum. Through hands-on experience with growing and harvesting food, participating students will see many elements of their standard curriculum (science, history, geography, social studies) brought to life. Beyond this, they will gain actual experience with the importance of thoughtful stewardship of the land and the value of locally grown food. Cornucopia Project students will grow, cook, and share their food at the lunch table. And they will get the taste of real “fast food” – picked fresh and eaten only steps away from where it was grown. This project serves the ConVal school district and runs two after-school and summer day programs, as well as school-time programs in two district elementary schools and one middle school. Plus their work at Crotched Mountain. http://cornucopiaproject.org.
Early Sprouts Program: The Early Sprouts Garden Project engages preschool children in a 24-week nutrition and gardening program. Children work in raised organic garden beds, explore vegetables using all of their senses, and learn how to cook six types of vegetables. Families receive a “take-home prep kit” each week, with a recipe and all the needed ingredients to reinforce learning. One parent shares, “My son went from being excited about dinosaurs to being excited about squash … we have eight varieties in our home right now.” http://www.earlysprouts.org.
Green Keene Teens: Green Keene Teens is a fairly new environmental group started by 16-year-old Lucy Allosso of Keene. It now consists of twelve teens, with more planning to join. The club currently volunteers at Stonewall Farm, is planning events to raise awareness of “going green”, and is fundraising for their trip to Costa Rica – set to occur next February. They hope to visit Punta Mona, a sustainable community, where almost everything the inhabitants need is produced right on the island. If you are interested in learning more, check out http://www.greenkeeneteens.com.
Harris Center: Week-long farm summer camp for teens. To find out more, or to register for any of our programs call 603-525-3394 or email email@example.com Susie Spikol, Youth and Family Program Coordinator.
Orchard Hill School: Farmers & Foragers is part of a series of after school programs provided by the Orchard School. Topics include: animal care, wild plant foods, churning butter, building shelters, tanning hides, planting gardens, and preparing meals. 603-835-2495; http://theorchardschool.org.
Hooper Institute: Walpole students entering grades 9 through 12 next year can apply for summer work at local farms doing farm chores and caring for a variety of animals. For more information, call 603-756-4382. Leave your name, address, and phone number and an application will be mailed to you.
Stonewall Farm Camp: Join our camp family and enjoy summer days filled with fun, farming and friendship! Our camp program introduces campers to the diverse world of organic agriculture, and the unique role farms play in our daily lives. We blend a variety of farm experiences with nature study and traditional camp favorites to create a unique program for campers ages 4 – 13. Whether this is your first year as a camper or your fifth, Stonewall Farm Summer Camp is an experience not to be missed! http://www.stonewallfarm.org/camps.html.