Farms & Food, A Vital Connection
Where does food come from? The answer you'll get from most children is "the grocery store." That's correct, but where does our food really come from? There was a time when every child knew where food came from because they took part in planting, growing, caring for, and harvesting it, but these days, where food comes from is a bit of a mystery. It has to be taught. The connection between humans and the source of their food is growing wider and wider.
So how do we teach childern about food systems and local agriculture? There are lot of ways to do this. Here are just a few:
Buy your produce, meat, and dairy products from the local farmers markets, coops, and stores like 100 Mile Market that support local farmers. Bring your kids, so they can interact with the producers too.
Plant a vegetable or herb garden in your yard.
The National Farm to School program brings food from local farms into school cafeterias and usually has a curriculum component attached to it. It can also be in the form of school gardens, greenhouses, and hydroponic growing systems.
Vital Communities in White River Junction, VT has a thriving Farm to School program that serves the Upper Valley. They host the Flavors of the Valley event in Hanover each year, highlighting area farmers and their products. Check out their website and use the "Find a Farmer" search engine.
The School to Farm Day is a field trip where local producers are brought to one place (usually a farm) and students from the area rotate through stations learning about a diversity of local agriculture products from the producers in their own communities.
Sullivan County hosted a School to Farm Day for 4th grade students last month. Check out the Photo Gallery to get a sense of the day. This is going to be an annual event. So mark your calendars for next year - May 15, 2019!
Eagle Times ran an article on the School to Farm Day on the front page on May 17, 2018.