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Grow Food Kids: Big Plans for 2019-20

Led by our experienced team of Educators: Ellena Baum and Melissa Ward, Grow Food Kids is launching into a new school year!  First up will be field trips to Crimson & Clover Farm in October. This will be followed by classroom workshops throughout the school year and field trips to the Community Garden in the spring.

Field Trips:

During the month of October we will welcome half of the K-3 students in the Northampton Public Schools, just about 500 children, to Crimson & Clover Farm for a fun, hands-on tour. Melissa and Ellena will lead groups around the farm, taking stops to harvest, taste, dig and learn, using all 5 senses along the way. Younger students will focus on learning the parts of plants and how to harvest the food while talking about the work on the farm. Older students dive deeper in by talking about the farm as an essential piece of the local economy, while they dig potatoes and bring them up to the Farm Store. All students will spend time learning about pollinators and bee-keeping.

Classroom Cooking Workshops:

From November to May we will provide 4 unique Classroom Workshops, serving all K-3 students in Northampton and branching out into the First grade classrooms in Easthampton.  We are excited to bring back some of last year’s favorite recipes (in line with the MA Farm to School Harvest of the Month): Kale Carrot Apple Salad in December and Apple Veggie Wraps in January. We’ll also be introducing new combinations of foods that we hope students will enjoy.

What’s New for 2019-20:

Melissa– We are thrilled to have Melissa Ward as our new TerraCorps member for 2019/2020 school year. Melissa has extensive teaching experience and is pursuing her dream of branching out into farm-based education. Melissa’s experience in the classroom will be a huge benefit to our curriculum development this year. 

Curriculum Tie-InsAll of the second grade classes in the district are scheduled to have a field trip to Crimson and Clover this October with a focus on goods and services, a key concept in the District’s science curriculum standards. Each class will help harvest and sort fall crops for market and discuss how vegetable farms play a central role in our local economy, providing a real-world complement to their classroom lessons.

Easthampton Classroom Cooking Workshops– We will be offering all of our classroom workshops and our field trips in the spring to all of the first grade classes in Easthampton thanks to new support from River Valley Co-op.

Farm to School Grant– We will be working with the Northampton Farm to School Committee and Food Services as part of the USDA Farm to School Grant that we received this year. Throughout the course of the 2-year grant, the committee will determine the future direction for Farm to School Education in the Northampton Public Schools. The highest priority of the group is expanding the programming into JFK Middle School and Northampton High School. So far, Farm to School programs have only taken place in the elementary schools. These conversations began in earnest at the Farm to School Summit last spring.

Ellena Baum leading a Spring Garden Field Trip

The trees are changing colors, the days and nights are getting cooler, and the field trips and classroom workshops are just around the corner! I’m excited that we’re making stronger ties between our programs, food service, and the school gardens this year. -Ellena Baum, Local Food Educator

Grow Food Kids is supported by funding from an earmark in the state budget through the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. We are grateful to the late Rep. Pete Kocot for establishing this funding and to Rep. Lindsay Sabadosa and Sen. Jo Comerford for continued support. We also received an Endowment grant from the Northampton Education Foundation for work in the Northampton schools (including higher grade levels) and will expand programming to one grade in Easthampton thanks to new support from River Valley Co-op.

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