It was a cool, crisp fall day when Kimberly’s 1-2 Learning Group took a walking field trip to the Grow It Green Garden at the Urban Farm in Morristown. The children, accompanied by Kimberly and 4 parent chaperones, walked 2.5 miles round trip to experience the garden. When they arrived at the Grow It Green Garden, Farm Shaun gathered the children and reviewed the rules. Children listened closely and were quick to participate and share ideas and thoughts.
Since it was fall, the children had the opportunity to taste some of the crops that Unity classes had planted this past spring. The children started by tasting leafy green vegetables, like swiss chard, collard greens and kale. One child curiously asked if the red swiss chard tasted different than the green swiss chard, so Farmer Shaun and Rachel, his assistant, let the children taste both kinds to compare. The children’s opinions were varied, but most agreed that the vegetables tasted great.
While tasting the collard greens and kale, one student observed a bee on the ground. Farmer Shaun gently returned the bee, which had a broken wing, to a flower. He went on to explain how bees and wasps were valuable to gardens as they eat the insects on the plant leaves which help keep the leaves healthy.
Next, the children had the opportunity to try both red and orange cherry tomatoes. While waiting by the cherry tomato vines, one child observed some ants. Farm Shaun explained to the class that ants are good for plants because they make tunnels where air and water can pass through to the roots of the plant.
While walking across the garden to the next crop, Farmer Shaun and Sarah invited the children to rub their hands against lavender bushes and to then smell the fragrance it left on them. The teacher and chaperone explained to the children how lavender oil may help calm and soothe people and may be used in baths as well as tea.
The last vegetable that the children tasted was green wax beans. Each child was able to pick a ripened bean off the vine and eat it while watching the 9 chickens play in the coop. Sarah checked for eggs but there weren’t any at the time.
The children had a wonderful time trying new vegetables, learning about plants and insects, as well as seeing the chickens. This field trip was important in forging garden-to-table connections that make the children more likely to try new foods. Many of the children were sad to leave and look forward to returning again soon.
A big thank you goes out to Kimberly, and parents Ankita Roelofs, Pinal Patel, and John Daily for making this a successful field trip for the 1-2 Learning Group!About the Author
Deb Marcus is a mother of two daughters at Unity. She has been a parent at the school for three years and has managed the school’s Facebook page and blog for a year. Deb is a part-time marketing consultant and enjoys exercising and spending time with her family.
The opinions expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Unity Charter School. Unity Charter School is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the author.