Educational Fridays

This past Friday marked the first of what I hope will be many more educational excursions on the farm.  As those of you who were with us last year know, in addition to our passion for making the world a more delicious place, we will also use any occasion to hop up onto our nutritional soapbox and probably lecture you for longer than you may be comfortable.  Last year we made it a priority to give greens in every share because we firmly believe that everyone needs more greens in their diet.  Anyone who’s turned down one of my fliers with the excuse of “We could never eat all those vegetables!” has surely suffered the wrath of Abby’s nutrition rants.  (They can be pretty epic.  You’ve been warned).

Anyways, I digress.  Friday morning was kicked off by a visit from one of our favorite Belmont teachers, Ms. Cox, at Burbank.  Ms. Cox’s class came for their first visit in the fall to poke around and pull up some carrots, which everyone agreed were the best carrots they’ve tasted (with the exception of one, incredibly honest boy who said they had too much dirt on them).  This time around they came with a slightly different agenda.  In relation to their recent medieval unit they came as peasants to work their lord’s land.  We had Quarry workers clearing rocks from the field to build walls, farmers planting beets, trench diggers digging trenches and planting potatoes, and animal caretakers mucking out the chicken coop (we spare noone).  They also got an opportunity to greet our friendly goats, as it’s hard to be 5 years old and NOT hug a goat.  All the kids seemed to have a blast, and while I’m not sure how much they learned, they walked away with dirt on their face and smiles from ear to ear, and I call that a successful field trip.  Many of them will hopefully come back with their families to see their potatoes grow throughout the summer!

Later in the afternoon I headed over to Wellington to chat with a few classes about the chicks they recently hatched.  We discussed the differences between happy chicken eggs and unhappy chicken eggs, and hypothesized why we humans were not quite as good as mother hens at hatching chicks.  While my english public speaking skills are admittedly a bit rusty, I thought it went fabulously and look forward to going back at some point in the future.

Throughout my many (at least for a 26 year old, it’s many) years working in education, I find it to be a general rule that I walk away from any experience learning more than I’ve taught.  This past Friday was no different for me, so here are a few things I learned from our forray into kindergarden education:

1) 6 year olds are the BEST rock clearers

2) Never joke about throwing an egg on the floor in front of kids

3) Dirt and sunshine is the best medicine for anything

4) Kids will eat anything they have a hand in growing

5) Chickens are much better at hatching chicks than people are.  It’s just nature, people

I am overwhelmed at the enthusiastic response we’ve had from parents of kindergardeners and town day passersby that are already interested in the farm!  While in some respects it was disheartening that literally every person I talked to at town day at 90% of the kindergardeners I spoke with had never heard of the farm, in some respects it’s refreshing to see how much of an impact we can have with minimal effort.  And if you were at town day or a kindergardener parent and HAVEN’T been by or checked us out, please do!  We only bite when it’s harvest time.