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Field trips to Farmers

Students in urban areas can take virtual field trips to farmers in rural areas in order to gain more understanding of where and how their food is grown.

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Written by DeletedUser

As a child, I was taken on a field trip to my town's water waste plant. I thought it was really lame, compared to the other option of an amusement park. As an adult, I am pleased that part of my curriculum focused on systems that are normally out of sight and I am inspired to make these field trips more common in student's lives, particularly the food system, which many children never have the chance to see from start to finish.


Shopping in a traditional grocery store removes the backstory of the food we eat. The place the seeds were sown, the farmer who planted and watered them, the people who harvested the produce, the travel from farm to market...all of this is lost in one bin of gleaming, red, out of season, tomatoes.


Video technology has reached a point where virtual conversations are often much easier and much more cost effective than physical interaction can be. With so much of people's food being grown beyond their reasonable reach, virtual field trips to the farms that grow are food make a lot of sense in the education of young people on food systems. Children often have no idea where the food they eat comes from and the opportunity to understand the system is unparalleled in terms of its potential long term impact. School sponsored, classroom based virtual tours of farms (be they nearby or countries away) that produce the food we eat on a regular basis will allow children the opportunity to connect with the places and people that produce their food.


Changes in curriculum to include virtual field trips to farms and farmers will enable students to be more aware of what it takes to grow and get food to them, creating more conscious future consumers and citizens.


Photo from Flickr, Library of Congress, James Pompey, no known publishing restrictions

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Photo of Tiffany Chan

Great idea. I love the concept of breaking down silos between urban and rural areas and enabling students to "interact" with farms so they understand where their food comes from. Urban buildings often lack space, but they all have rooftops. How about using the space on school rooftops to build greenhouses? There's a company called Topsprounts (http://www.topsprouts.com/) working on the concept right now. It serves multiple purposes: captures waste heat from school buildings, produces local food and enables students to directly connect and have a more comprehensive understanding of food.

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