Farmers bring spring into local classrooms and beyond
Spring is here, which means in addition to getting seeds started and soil prepped, local farmers are also taking time to go into school classrooms as part of Sierra Harvest’s Farm to School program.
Now in its tenth year, this popular program has expanded to include serving residents at the Cascade Senior Center with the Harvest of the Month program, and now farmer visits too.
Farmer Emily Koller of Sierra Harvest’s Food Love Farm is doing spring farmer visits at Union Hill School, Deer Creek Elementary, Seven Hills Middle School and Cascades Senior Living of Grass Valley.
In the school setting, each lesson is geared toward the next generation science standards (NGSS) for that grade level and is the middle piece of a three-part series (fall field trip, winter farmer visit, spring field trip) on the topic specific to that grade level.
For example, the second grade classes are focusing on how and why seeds travel, so for their farmer visit, they are making seed bombs/balls filled with wildflower and native plant seeds. At Seven Hills, students are learning about the history of seeds and genetically modified organisms in seventh grade science.
When asked about why she likes going into the classroom, Koller said, “I love visiting classrooms in the winter because it provides continuity for the students between farm visits in the fall and spring. We get to continue the thread of learning that we began at their first farm visit in the fall and get them excited about things coming alive in the spring.”
And after this wet and wild winter, we are all excited for the coming spring. For residents of Cascade Senior Living, Farmer Emily’s visit was especially welcomed. Koller brought fluffy baby chicks that were just one week old, which was a ray of springtime sunshine for everyone involved.
While going into schools, Koller is also busily preparing the Food Love Farm for spring field trips and volunteer days. She and her crew will have a series of certified organic plant sales on the farm this spring: May 4, 11, 18 (all 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.). To learn more about the Food Love Farm visit: sierraharvest.org/children-connect-to-fresh-food/food-love-farm/.
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