Farm field trips connect kids to local food
Students in BVSD have the opportunity to choose local food every day by selecting school breakfast or lunch, however many do not understand what that means because they have never seen a farm near their homes or schools. Thanks to a grant from the USDA AMS Local Food Promotion Program, BVSD students have the opportunity to learn about local food and farming from those who know it best - our farmer partners.
During these farm field trips, students from kindergarten to high school are given a tour of the crops, an introduction to local farming practices and what it takes to be a farmer in Colorado, and hands-on experience with local food production, food safety and the use of local foods in cooking.
Heatherwood first graders visited Black Cat Farm to expand upon their lessons about plants, animals, and soil. A group from Platt Choice Middle went to Kilt Farm to see, touch, smell and taste Boulder County grown food, while Manhattan Middle School science students ventured to Black Cat and Ollin Farms to dig deeper into the environmental impact of local farming, soil science, ecosystems and life cycle science. A Broomfield High group's trip to Kilt Farm offered students an opportunity to plant their own chard and even take some seedlings home to nurture and later enjoy when they are ready for harvest. BVSD students from a Fairview photography class visited Ollin Farms to capture what it means to grow food in Colorado on film. And Boulder Prep students dug into what it means to maintain a sustainable food system, examining everything from pollinators to the inner workings of Ollin Farms to how local food is used in BVSD schools.
“Having the opportunity to visit these farms and the kitchen added so much value to our earth science class,” Boulder Prep teacher Justin St. Onge said. “The students taking this class were able to become immersed in the subject matter while experiencing it first hand. Having access to such farms is something I always took for granted living in Boulder, but now I realize how large of an impact they have on the health and sustainability of our local ecosystem.”
So what’s the student takeaway? One student recalled that the best thing about the field trip to the farm was "having the ability to interact with local farmers and understand how easy it is to access food grown in our community."
Know of a teacher and class who could benefit from a farm field trip? Learn more on the School Food Project website.