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By Crystal Mai, Community Education Facilitator

Hello everyone! My name is Crystal, and I’m entering my fourth year and studying Food, Nutrition, and Health at the Faculty of Land and Food Systems at UBC. I am very grateful for the opportunity to volunteer with Fresh Roots this summer – learn more about me in my previous blog about the Norquay Sharing Garden. I’m very excited to take you on a virtual tour of our field trip today!

Fresh Roots field trips allow students to embrace the farm and nature in an outdoor classroom setting. Through the 2-hour-field trip, students will be engaged with a farm work experience and taste farm-fresh veggies when available, and the benefits are more than beyond. 

 

Youth connection with the food, the land, and each other

Educating youth about the origins of their food can take numerous forms, ranging from essential agricultural work to fun tasting journeys. All of these activities benefit youth by teaching them the importance of nutritious fresh food and boosting their food literacy skills. 

Food literacy skills gained from our field trips contribute to youth food security by achieving the food planting and utilization dimensions. I hope to educate youth on essential farming skills, sustainable food selection and eating behaviours, and long-term food budget-stretching by improving food literacy.

 

Youth Development Through Agriculture

By using urban schoolyard farms as classrooms, youth can connect and learn about food and the food system on a practical level, while introducing them to urban farming as a means to improve local food security. Alongside the food and farm work, students will also gain critical thinking, public speaking, and leadership skills. 

Let’s take a virtual tour of one of our field trip sessions at David Thompson secondary schoolyard farm. The MicroFarm on June 10 was one of the most enjoyable sessions I’ve ever hosted, as we had a group of lovely kindergarteners joining. 

 

Activity 1- Tiny Treasures Hunting 

Our students explored the farm and collected 12 small objects in an egg carton to closely observe the farm’s tiny plants. This activity taught children about the various types of plants that grow on the farm and allowed them to compare and contrast their textures. 

Activity 2- Tasting Journey 

Students got to taste the seasonal foods growing on the farm, such as radishes, sweet chards, and sage flowers. With the tasting, students better understood the concept of seasonal food, sustainable food selection, and how an urban farm is cultivated to nourish the community.

Activity 3- Tiny Creatures Hunting 

By digging in the soil, children explored and learned about different tiny friends living on the farm, such as worms, rolly-pollies, ladybugs, and spiders, while understanding how they interact with and contribute to the farming. 

Activity 4- Design a Mini Farm

Students were given wood pieces, strings, rocks, and plants to build their own mini-farms to strengthen their understanding of how each portion of the farm interacts with one another and the ecosystem as a whole.    

SUMMER DAY CAMPS & FALL FIELD TRIPS – COMING SOON!

We would love for you to join us on the schoolyard farms!

Spots are still available for selected camps, check out the webpage for more information: https://freshroots.ca/education/camp/

More field trip sessions will be coming back in fall, stay tuned on the website: https://freshroots.ca/education/field-trips/

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