Rockford third graders 'Farming in the Class'
Third graders at Conklin Elementary School in Rockford, Illinois had the opportunity to discover how seasonal fruits and vegetables grow and travel to their classroom. Called Farming in the Class, this is a program that is a collaboration with Annie Hobson, 4-H Youth Metro Educator, and Grant McCarty, Local Foods and Small Farms Educator.
“Annie asked me to take the programming that I do and tailor it for students. I knew that I wanted to focus on seasonal fruits and vegetables, food miles, and crop families,” said Grant McCarty. “Each week is a different family or group. So it has been cucurbits (squash), apples, root vegetables, and leafy greens. Students tasted different varieties and looked on maps to see how far the food traveled to get to their school.”
While students learned about where their food comes from, they benefited in other ways. “This program provides youth with the opportunity to be exposed to positive youth development, as well as understanding geography and how it relates to the food that they consume every day,” stated Annie Hobson.
By incorporating seasonality, food miles, and plant growth characteristics, McCarty helped students understand that the food in their grocery store doesn't necessarily come from the Rockford region. “I think that is an important piece to get across. While Rockford growers can grow a cucumber, the cucumber they find in the grocery store may have been grown in California,” McCarty explained.
He sees the hands-on component of the curriculum as equally important. “They’ve stuck their hands in pumpkins to remove seeds. I’ve made modified soil buckets for them to pull out beets and carrots. They’ve tried different apple varieties and leafy greens” shares McCarty.
The Farming in the Class program will continue at other Rockford schools in the winter and spring.
For more information, contact Annie Hobson firstname.lastname@example.org, Grant McCarty email@example.com, or the University of Illinois Extension office serving Jo Daviess, Stephenson, and Williamson counties at 815-235-4125.
- Extension’s Tony Franklin awarded 2017 Larine Y. Cowan Make a Difference Award on Leadership in Diversity
- Piece by piece, 4-H members stitch together hope for children battling cancer
- STARTUP Jefferson County provides entrepreneurs and small business owners the tools to succeed
- In the face of disaster, Extension Disaster Education Network provides enduring support
- Peoria “stormwater farm” demonstrates power of connecting design thinking with improved public health outcomes
- Incoming freshmen: Apply now for the Extension to ACES Scholarship!
- As the Refuge Food Forest bears fruit, a community's fascination blossoms
- Think globally, act locally: Woodchip bioreactors help farmers reduce nutrient runoff
- BRANDT 4-H race car wins Xfinity maiden race
- Champaign-Urbana collects 13,000 pounds of unwanted medicine
- Data-Driven Dairy
- Illinois biennial report recognizes positive, voluntary steps to reduce nutrient loss
- Persistence pays off: Orr Center celebrates 40 years of progress, partnership
- Gardening with your senses
- Google donates $1.5 million and virtual reality technology to support 4-H youth science programs
- Extension wins award at Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior 2017 annual conference
- 4-H has your seat to the eclipse
- 4-H Bridge Bust Participants Earn More than Awards
- Macon County Master Naturalist Gives Back
- U of I Students Share Ideas to Improve Peoria’s Southside Neighborhood
- Two University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener Pollinator Projects Receive Grants
- Healthy Carnival Planned by Teens to Promote Nutrition and Activity
- Illinois Master Gardener program celebrates 40th anniversary
- Illinois State Board of Education Awards $4.5 million to U of I Extension for school food-service training
- Extension experts talk turkey
- Extension offers Leadership Academy for County Officials
- 4-H Teens as Teachers have positive impact
- Pond management workshop promotes stewardship, sound practices
- An edible forest takes root in Normal