By Andrea Lucy, Experiential Learning Program Lead
I’ve been a big kid at Fresh Roots’ field trips this year. While my role with Fresh Roots is teaching students visiting our farms for field trips, the students have wowed and amazed me with what they know and experience! Here are a few of the many things local elementary students taught me this spring:
1. You’re never too old to do arts and crafts.
With a little light pounding, the pigment from leaves or flowers transfers onto cloth to make a beautiful, nature-inspired design! Not to mention it smells great!
2. Bugs are amazing!
We’ve had so much fun looking up close at ladybugs, bees, worms and pillbugs. Students taught me wasps are accidental pollinators and worms are earth helpers!
3. Native plants are a world of wonder, for food, medicine, clothing, and tools.
There’s so much to learn about the native biodiversity of this land. We’ve been tasting some of these plants, including wild rose, learning about how they’re packed full of nutrients and vitamins. In autumn, this plant will grow rose hips. They are a fruit that has nearly 8x the amount of vitamin C compared to oranges!
4. Many hands make light work.
Students helped harvest nearly 50 bundles of sage flowers for CSA boxes. They hung the flowers upside down to dry them for use in teas.
5. A little quiet time is relaxing and recharging.
The farm offers a quiet break from the hustle and bustle of the city. Here, students are taking a quiet moment to imagine what the farm looked like in the past, present, and into the future.
6. There is nothing more lush or plush than laying on a bed of clover
So lush and plush; perfect for making clover angels. Just mind the bees pollinating the flowers! 🐝
7. It doesn’t have to be complex to be fun.
Often the most fun and educational activities were the ones with the fewest instructions. For instance, planting seeds and learning what they need to grow. Then, months later, identifying all the parts of that same now grown-up plant. Another favourite at Fresh Roots is digging and looking for creatures living in the soil. Can you spot the pillbug curled up in a ball?
8. Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, in our world is connected together.
Over the spring, we thought about the many complex connections in our food system and ecosystem. In the activity shown above, we learned how many of the vegetables we eat were domesticated from the same plants. We thought about how interconnected we, as humans, are to these plants, and to the soil, pollinators, water, and sun these plants rely on.
9. Spending time outside with nature supports your well-being.
Take a deep breath in and out. There’s nothing like blue skies over David Thompson Secondary, growing plants, and a bit of sun to relax.
10. Today’s children give me hope for tomorrow.
The students we’ve met on the field trips are inspiring. They are caring, respectful, full of wonder, and recognize the importance of the natural world. They are conscientious and recognize the environment as life-giving.
If you also want to learn vicariously through children’s experiences, we have a few more spots open in Camp Fresh Roots for our last MidiCamp (August 30-September 1). After that, we’re looking forward to welcoming classes back on the farm for another year of learning and growing.