On a recent Tuesday morning, I had the opportunity to spend some time with middle school students from Montessori. This group of students visits Veggielution weekly on a seasonal basis. They were working together to plant two fig trees in the orchard. I asked about their favorite farm activities, as well as projects they felt proud of completing. As we talked, it was clear they were excited and inspired by agriculture. One of the students shared that she was most proud of the portion of the orchard they built together. When the project began, the space was a fallow field with weeds. She recounted the difficult tasks, clearing weeds and digging holes for the new trees. The orchard is now a space for these students to work continually, creating a sense of ownership over the space.
Eastside Explorers will provide the chance for middle school students in the neighborhood to discover and connect to a place close to home. Planting a row of seedlings at a farm will bring up the question: “Where does my food come from?” Tasting a tomato straight from the vine will inspire creativity in the kitchen to make fresh salsas, sauces, and more. Turning a compost pile will shed a new light on science as kids identify bugs, observe healthy soil, and learn about the nutrients that help veggies grow. Veggielution will begin bringing groups of middle school students out to the farm this summer!
Eastside Explorers is generously support by Applied Materials Foundation.