The farmers have just finished up their busiest season yet of in-school educational programming for kids at schools around King County.
From January through March, Oxbow’s educational farmers Pat and Sarah visited 19 pre-schools and elementary schools in Seattle and on the Eastside, teaching lessons about seeds and worms.
Most of the farmers’ in-school visits were follow-ups to school field trips to the farm in September and October, the second component in a three-part series called the Pumpkin Package. These schools will return to the farm yet AGAIN in the springtime for a lesson on soil and planting, rounding out these young students’ understanding of the changes a farm sees through the seasons.
To open the lesson, students begin by recalling their fall visit–what they saw there, what was growing, and what they ate. Then, they see pictures of the farm in its current winter hibernation, with no more food growing. Everything that was green is now brown! Why? What are the wild animals doing now? The farmers? These questions probe students to think about the connections between the weather, the time of year, and the stages of plants’ lives.
From there, students either explore the world of seeds, learning about what seeds do and where they come from, and making observations about many different kinds of seeds, or learn about worms and compost. During the worm lesson, classes are visited by Squirmy the Worm, an anatomically-accurate worm puppet who talks about his role as a soil-builder in organic systems.
Winter classroom visits have concluded for this season, as the farmers prepare for the opening of the spring season of farm field trips next week.