Farm-Based Education at CCF
Spring! These longer days filled with (a little more) warmth and sunshine have gotten all of us at the farm pretty excited for opening day and all of the fun, food, and enjoyment that comes with our growing season. We have so much to look forward to this year, and I’d like to share just a few of those developments with you.
I’m sure many of you have seen advertisements for our new Summer Day Camp. This program is new to the farm and the most extensive farm-based program we have on our menu this year. We have thousands of people come to the farm for education programs throughout the year. Historically, the summer time is slower in that respect, yet it is the busiest time for production (thus, the best time to learn about and experience the farm!). Everyone here at the farm felt the need to utilize our grounds to their fullest potential as a place to learn and play during the summer. After thoughtful consideration, we decided that hosting a summer day camp would best align with our mission of bringing more kids to the farm.
As a farm-based education administrator, I have directed day camps (ages 6-14) on farms similar to Cedar Circle Farm for ten years. I also worked for nine years with 8-10 year olds as a residential camp counselor. Camp is in my blood. And I couldn’t be happier for the opportunity to build and grow this program into a cherished and valuable community asset.
My intention with this post isn’t to plug any program in particular but to point out that the trend you may have noticed with our implementation of several new programs here at Cedar Circle Farm is not by accident. As the result of a thorough strategic planning process in late 2014-early 2015, the Leadership team at the farm decided that education efforts needed to increase the focus of using the farm itself as our classroom. Simply put, the best way to teach children and adults about the basic principles of organic agriculture and healthy lifestyles is to bring them to the farm. While the farm is still committed to helping increase consumer knowledge around organic foods, production practices, and the current issues and policy work needed to make necessary changes in our current food system, we want to bring people back to the farm, our greatest resource. We hope that you are as excited about the growth of these programs as we are and that you will try to find an opportunity to participate in one or many of them.
Our programs include:
Summer Day Camp: Children ages 6-10 will explore and learn about the farm through structured activities of their choice in small groups led by experienced educators;
School Field Trips: Lessons for schools that are best taught through authentic farm investigations;
Little Farmers: Our weekly drop-in program for toddlers and their caregivers with a different theme every week;
Homeschool Farm Science: Six-week session for homeschooled children to come and learn about agriculture and nature
Farm Tours & Adult Classes are still offered throughout the season.
Thank you for taking the time to read my update. As I hope you can tell, we are really looking forward to increasing opportunities for people of all ages to come and share the farm and the learning opportunities it has to offer. See you soon!