The Farm Project CIC (Community Interest Company) offers an unusual experience for children and young people through a short-stay residential on a working organic farm in Gloucestershire.
The Farm Project is now offering to fund a visit for a school group of 10 pupils from London who have never had the opportunity to visit the farm before (open to pupils from year 5 up to 6th form).
Why visit a farm?
Many farms are open to the community and specifically cater for educational experiences for children and young adults. When farms host visits in this way, children from urban centres especially benefit from taking a hands on approach to learning about food. It’s an opportunity to dispel myths and misconceptions while gaining a new perspective and connection to food and how food is produced. This translates to making healthier food choices, such as trying and eating more fruit and veg. It can also inspire them to grow their own at home or in the school garden, which in turn gives them a deeper appreciation of the value of food while getting them involved in a more active lifestyle outdoors.
What do they do on a farm?
Whilst at The Farm Project children and young people gain a deep understanding of where food comes from through hands-on growing, harvesting, cooking and eating. They care for the animals, collect eggs, feed the pigs, milk the cows and feed the calves. They spend time in the woods chopping wood and building fires and an awareness and appreciation for the natural world.
Learning outside a traditional classroom offers exciting and invaluable opportunities for personal development. Confidence and self-esteem grow and communication and teamwork strengthen as children and young people face new experiences and challenges far from their everyday lives.
The nurturing environment encourages positive relationships to be built between individuals and gives a general sense of wellbeing. The experience provides an opportunity for developing new skills and qualities which can be taken back into homes, schools and communities.
A Visible Difference
“We saw visible differences in the students as their time on the farm progressed. We saw growth in confidence, and an improvement in social skills. The children bonded together with both their room partners and their working groups and the farm activities allowed for invaluable opportunities for team work. They showed amazing perseverance, which was rewarded with success, and a lot of fun and laughter.” Teacher, London
About the farm
Run by managing partners Will and Hilary Chester-Master, Abbey Home Farm is a 650 hectare organic mixed farm.
Abbey Home Farm is committed to organic practices and passionate about connecting the local community – especially children and young people – with the food they eat.
With their team Will and Hilary have been hosting educational day visits for over 20 years.
In July 2015 The Farm Project CIC was established at Abbey Home Farm. Having hosted a handful of visits through the Soil Association’s ‘Farm Academy’ programme in 2012/13, they realised what an impact a residential stay could have.
The Farm Project hosts up to one week long residential visits for children and young people from all walks of life, between the months of March and November.
Find out more about how you could bring your school group by visiting their website http://www.thefarm.education/bring-a-group/
Before I came to The Farm, I never used to try or eat any food that maybe didn’t look nice or I thought I was going to hate. However, I couldn’t starve all week, so whenever I gave the dishes a try, I always seemed to like it. This trip has definitely developed my taste buds a lot. Not only had we been enjoying ourselves, but we were using our ordinary classroom subjects to help us with our jobs. I have learnt that we might think our school subjects are boring, but we need them in real life, so that’s why teachers should organise trips like this