Fourth-graders work with farm grant
WILMINGTON- Marie Paige’s fourth-grade class at Twin Valley Elementary School, with support from the Northeast Organic Farming Association, is participating in a Farm to School US Department of Agriculture Grant Project.
At Twin Valley, Paige’s class will integrate Vermont science curriculum with multiple farm visits to their farm partner, Boyd Family Farm, of Wilmington. Boyd Family Farm has been owned and operated by the same family for over 80 years. This farm is truly a family affair. All the Boyd family, including nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts, uncles, and parents, play a role depending on the season.
While learning how the Boyds apply science knowledge and skills in daily operations, the fourth-graders will get to know Farmer DJ and what day-to-day life entails on a Vermont farm. They will experience farm life, chores, mapping, tasting new foods, making new recipes, and so much more. During the deep winter months, the farmer will visit the classroom to share his decision-making process for determining what crops he will plant and the seeds he will need to purchase for the spring. This visit will mesh with the students’ work on growing seeds. Twin Valley Elementary School has a rich history of Farm to School programming and this grant takes that program even deeper through on-farm education, a focus on the region’s agricultural history, and purchasing of local foods.
This two-year School to Farm project will result in six school communities building stronger connections to their local farms through education and local purchasing. From the 2010 Vermont Food Education Every Day evaluation emerged the finding that students who report knowing a farmer are more likely to report that they eat (or exceed) the American Dietary Guideline recommendations for fruit and vegetable consumption. This illustrates the wisdom in the USDA’s “Know Your Farmer; Know Your Food!” campaign mission that building the farm to food connection can change food choices and eating behaviors.