-GO ON A LOCAL FOOD FIELD TRIP-

Kids pick edible plans.

Campers help weed the community garden

at Ahoskie United Methodist Church. Many of them had never been to a farm or garden before, and enjoyed seeing how food grows.

All God’s Children United

Methodist Church

Aulander, NC  Bertie County

Have you ever wondered what you can do to keep kids learning and active over the summer? All God’s Children United Methodist Church (UMC) tried a simple solution: They hosted a summer camp with field trips to local food sites. Over a six-week period, 40 children ranging from ages 3-10 visited community gardens, farms, and a local food truck to learn where their food comes from and why it’s important to eat healthy. They also stayed active by helping in the gardens and farms.

The children visited the community garden at Ahoskie United Methodist Church, where they learned how to identify plants. They also worked in the garden by weeding and planting starters, which are young plants that are ready to be put in the ground. For lunch, they grilled out and got to taste some new veggies grown right in the garden.

The kids also visited Bob’s Organic Blueberry Farm, where they got to pick their own blueberries.

Finally, the kids were visited by Y’all Eat Yet?, a food truck that uses local ingredients. The food truck owner talked about why she thinks it is important to purchase ingredients from local farms, like keeping money in the local economy.

Local food field trips are a great way to teach children about their community and get them thinking about the food they eat. At a farm or garden, you can also teach soil science, animal and plant life cycles, decomposition and pollination. At a Farmer’s Market kids can learn how to purchase healthy food by doing their own shopping, and they can try new foods.

The NC Department of Agriculture has an Agritourism page where you can find farms in your area that host tours. To find a community garden, visit NC Community Garden Partner’s Garden Directory. To find a farmers’ market, visit NC Farm Fresh and look for markets in your county. Ask the market manager if they have any programming for kids, such as a Power of Produce Club, where kids can participate in events at the market and earn vouchers towards farmers’ market products.

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