For the 9th consecutive year, The Allen Stevenson School in New York City (and Patrick's alma mater) sent 5th grade biology and earth science students to the farm to work and learn about sustainable farming. Forty one students and five teachers braved the VERY hot conditions and planted peppers (400 hot plants, 9oo bell) and Spanish onions (1500), weeded broccoli and cauliflower rows, and experienced a working farm in action for, most likely, the first time.
After lunch there was a class discussion which incorporated questions that Patrick and the faculty had come up with and the kids took home over the long weekend. Most were quite ably prepared and a few were down right awesome in their knowledge. What is always remarkable about these field trips is how, despite many of theses children coming from backgrounds of privilege and many having weekend homes in the northeast, is how nature is still quite foreign to them. We had a great farm tour, as well, and the kids left with some knowledge of how food is priced, sold and distributed throughout America. They had a great time.
In the fall, these same students will come back and harvest food, including the peppers and onions they planted, and the school's cafeteria will make something for all the students to enjoy. It remains one of the highlights of the farms year and we believe that these are the kids who will run the world someday and the earlier they get the concepts of sustainability, local food production, and transparency in our food systems, the better we will all be.