When my kids were young, we lived in the rural area of Bath, New York. One of the benefits of living there was the annual field trip kindergartners took to the Alfred State farm, where they introduced agriculture for kids. Our kids were exposed at a young age to how farms operate and how they contribute to the food supply. They gained a deep appreciation for where our food comes from and how hard farmers work to provide it.
It’s important for kids to learn about agriculture, but if you don’t have a built-in opportunity that we had for our kids you can still help them learn about agriculture. Foster an appreciation in how we get our food by taking the kids to farmer’s markets and local farms and pumpkin patches. Even when you are in a grocery store, spend time in the produce section and help them understand the connection between what you buy at the store and the food that was in the ground.
One of the best ways to introduce agriculture for kids is by letting kids grow their own garden. From tilling the soil and planting the seeds to watering and weeding, kids who grow their own gardens can gain a deep appreciation about what it takes not just to grow food but to nourish our bodies. Even a small container garden can help kids learn how to grow food for themselves.
If you have a child who refuses to eat vegetables, growing a garden may solve the problem. Our son refused to eat veggies until he was harvesting his own carrots, eating them out of the ground and rinsed of dirt by the hose. Teaching kids about agriculture keeps them connected to the earth and helps them understand the connection between what we grow, what we eat, and how we live.
Will you be planting a garden this year?