The LexFarm Learning Garden
The Children’s Garden at the Lexington Community Farm will be situated on a 500 s.f. plot of farmland within the farm itself. Our primary goal for our youth farm-based education program is to offer hands-on opportunities for children to learn about raising food crops with the cycle of the seasons, about how plant based foods are produced and how they nourish us. During the summer of 2013, in anticipation of the community farm to come, we piloted a youth garden program for the duration of the growing season, entitled ‘Planting Soup.’ In early June, with the help of several children ages three to ten years old, we planted celery, tomatoes, peppers, pole beans, zuchinni, kale, chard, turnips, potatoes, carrots, and herbs. During the summer months we hosted field trips from various groups who helped us weed and harvest as produce became available. In October we held a special harvest program where we gathered the crops and walked to a nearby kitchen where we washed the produce and cooked pots of soup.
We plan to serve many segments of our community through farm-based education as we grow our programming. Toddler programs will offer exposure to nature and opportunities to explore, young children will gain gardening experience through after school, vacation, summer programs and school visits. Middle School age children will perform work-oriented programs, learning responsibility and skills and High School age children can perform community service through volunteering.
It can be difficult to host groups of youth on a working farm, since the crops are valuable and the work being performed by the farm staff must not be disrupted. This highlights the need for a vibrant youth garden where children can freely plant, tend, respect and care for crops, and, ultimately experience the satisfaction of harvesting and eating them.
KGI is a nonprofit community of over 30,000 people who are growing some of our own food and helping others to do the same.
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Kitchen Gardeners International
3 Powderhorn Drive,
Scarborough, ME, 04074, USA