In Kids on the Farm, Media on June 29, 2011 at 7:18 pm
Recently, Elaine Reyes of NBC4 came out to see our farm and chat with the kids a bit before school let out for the summer. Click on this link to see the full video on the NBC4 site. Our middle school kids turned a little uncharacteristically shy when the camera came on. Well, all except our resident arachnophobe. Not sure what I’m talking about? You didn’t click on the link, did you?
All jokes aside, we are very proud of how well our middle school students conducted themselves. This year, they have often found themselves the heavy laborers on the farm when certain tasks were beyond the abilities of younger students. They have risen to the needs of our school project time and time again. As middle school math teacher, John LaRue states in the video, the farm is for everyone. And it has given our older kids the ability to step into the role of school leaders by working hard to make sure that the farm is the best it can be. For everyone.
In Happy Moments, Kids on the Farm on June 27, 2011 at 2:38 pm
Cucumbers seedlings on a windowsill inside school…
… became thriving, producing plants out on the farm…
… and gave a basket of cucumbers for farming kids in need of a snack. The same kids who swore they did not eat cucumbers when we planted a tray of them in April. Most satisfying. No “I told you so”s required.
In Events, Kids on the Farm on June 7, 2011 at 11:41 pm
When Alice Deal Middle School assistant principal, Simon Rodberg, contacted us about bringing a group of seventh grade students out to the farm for a community service day, we were more than happy to accept the offer. Our excitement about the partnership proved more than warranted today as approximately 20 hardworking kids dug into a list of chores that could have been the undoing of even our most stalwart volunteers. Curious about what they accomplished?
– wood chipped pathways between rows
– pruned and fertilized the herb garden
– planted sweet potatoes and winter squash
– added compost to squash transplants
– mulched the strawberry beds with straw
– painted farm signs
– staked and pruned tomato plants
– weeded pathways and rows
– watered all the crops and the fig trees
– harvested lettuce to take home
They also got a farm tour, introduction to urban agriculture, and an overview of the crops and the methods we are using to cultivate an organic food supply. And enjoyed a picnic lunch on the farm. We had the honor of hosting some new friends to the farm, and seeing first hand what a significant impact the annual Deal Gives Back community service day can have for those lucky partners to whom they reach out. Many thanks to them all!
In Kids on the Farm, Partners on May 30, 2011 at 11:02 pm
In Kids on the Farm on April 30, 2011 at 11:44 pm
On Friday, our middle school students hit the farm again in order to construct the teepee supports for the pole beans. Under the guidance of math teacher, John LaRue, the students planned out the materials needed, identified the diameter of the circle required, drew those circles in the soil, and then worked together to assemble these supports.
These teepees will allow our pole beans plants to grow healthy, more vigorous vines, and will eventually lead to higher yields than plants without such well-designed supports. Meanwhile, some of our young farmers inside the building, having seen the first model teepee that farm director, Sarah, put up, have been whispering that Indians work our farm at night. We have not corrected them.
Many thanks to all our middle school students and Mr. LaRue who worked so hard on this project! And the hats? Well, they found them with the other supplies and decided to wear them. Kind of funny.
In Kids on the Farm on April 15, 2011 at 10:22 pm
The Farm at Walker Jones has a deep appreciation for all the adult volunteers that help make the effort possible, but nothing can compare with the wall of energy that hit the farm yesterday in the form of a constant stream of students from kindergarten, fourth, sixth, seventh and eighth grade. On that last day of school before spring break, the WJ Tigers went above and beyond to make sure that all of the seedlings they have been nurturing in their classrooms landed in a safe place during break. It was time to get those baby plants acclimated to the outdoors.
The eighth grade boys were the first ones out. Directed by middle school math teacher, John LaRue, and farm director, Sarah Bernardi, they carefully transplanted trays of herb seedlings to larger pots. They then moved on to installing our hoop house along the side of the farm.
Next up, our younger friends all made it out to do a little more transplanting and placement of the pots under cover. It was difficult to determine the biggest draw of the farm visit – getting dirty or running through the tunnel created.
By the time seventh grade made it out with Mr. LaRue for the last period of the day, the cold frame situation was well under control, and so they turned their efforts to moving more compost to the beds.
And of course our ceaselessly entertaining worm population whose appeal has no age limits.
Dirt, worms, bugs – nothing fazed most of the kids. It took adults eating kale off the plants to elicit the “Ewws!” Our hope is that a continuing personal investment in their food source on the farm will eventually make most of them more adventurous eaters. We might have to cook it to sell it to them though as suggested by one very bright seventh grader.