Growing Education: Families Are Heading Back to the Farm

landscape

What’s green and brown all over? A farm, of course! Every spring, more and more families are heading back to the farm. They don’t necessarily live there, but they’re flocking to farms in ever-greater numbers to connect themselves and their children with their source of food and the farmers who grow it.

In our community, urban agriculture is booming. This morning we are going to the grand opening of a small urban farm, one that was born out of the abandoned end of a soccer field. It was relatively unused land, so the city donated it and it is becoming a suburban farm, one that is beside a school and nestled behind urban homes. In the summer, there will be farm gate sales at this new farm. Fabulous.

We are also members of a community supported agriculture share – five such shares, in fact. This means that we’ve had the opportunity to tour the beehives where we get our honey. The sight of a small child unafraid and covered in bees is something to see.

Every month, we also have the chance to go out to the farm. This farm has grown our summer vegetables for the last five years. We do have a vegetable garden, but it is small and has partial shade, and therefore it can’t sustain us during the summer months. The farm has a children’s farm club, which means that every month we can go and visit with the bees, the chickens, the growing vegetables, and the fields. The kids can play in the fields, and we can all help grow the vegetables. The first month, we filled up pots for new seedlings. The next, we poured compost in the greenhouses to create beds for the baby tomato plants.

If you have a city kid, getting involved in a farm is an amazingly educational experience. From the fresh air and running around to the science of plants to the understanding of the annual life cycle of the entire farm, your homeschooled kids can learn so much from growing up going to a farm, even if you don’t own it yourself.