We love to hear about what other like-minded organizations are up to. Our friends at the Waltham Fields Community Farm, a non-profit farm in Waltham, MA, (which is located really close to the ChopChop office) helps to teach kids about local agriculture and food access through hands-on education.
Cassie, an intern at Waltham Fields Community Farm, wrote a little about the farm and how it helps fuel a relationship between children, healthy food, and cooking.
“Part of our mission is to promote local agriculture and food access through education and encourage a healthy relationship between people, their food supply, and the land from which it grows. A wonderful part of my job is helping with our weeklong day camps that run throughout the summer and farm visits from local summer camps and organizations. I also help run the farm’s blog and post updates about what goes on at camp each day so that parents and caretakers can be connected with all of the exciting things their children are doing all day at the farm!
An important part of our curriculum is incorporating a healthy snack everyday made with fresh produce from the farm by the kids. Some of the snacks we made were: a swiss chard salad with homemade dressing, hummus with carrots and watermelon radishes for dipping, an egg scramble with greens, garlic, and edible weeds, pickles, raspberry rhubarb jam, and squash pancakes. We use our outdoor solar powered kitchen to prepare and cook all of the food. Snack time is a fun and exciting time for our campers because they get to see the food go from farm to table in less than a half-hour. If that’s not instant gratification, I don’t know what is. Children that grow and cook with us strengthen their math and cooperation skills as they measure ingredients and work. All of the kids were enthusiastic to write down the recipe so that they could bring it home for their parents. Many of our recipes used throughout the season by kids and families can be found on our blog.
A big part of making the connection between farming and cooking is experiencing and tasting. When crops are viewed passively, I think kids may see food growing in the ground as something that is off-limits. Our learning garden is just the opposite. When our campers arrived on Monday morning one of the first things our garden explorers, younger group (ages 5-7), did was adopt a plot in the learning garden to take care of for the week. We were able to harvest food, and they learned the importance of a good environment for vegetables to grow successfully. Taking responsibility for the plot helped the kids take pride in the different plants growing and view them as their own, and develop their sense of environmental stewardship.
Another goal of our farm is to make fresh, healthy food accessible to everyone. On Tuesdays starting July 21st we run an outreach market in Waltham for low income families. We also host a number of family friendly events at the farm including a free movie night and a family cooking workshop.“
To learn more about Waltham Fields Community Farm visit http://www.communityfarms.org
We want to hear what you’re up to! Interested in guest blogging for ChopChop? Email us at [email protected].