Open Farm School Days coming up in June

What are Open Farm School Days?

Open Farm School Days is a nationwide initiative to get children out onto farms and learning about where their food comes from.

Throughout June, farms will be opening their gates and hosting educational visits for children to learn about how their food is grown, where it comes from and meeting the farmers who grow it.

Open Farm School Days run alongside the annual Open Farm Sunday and a number of farmers do both.

Open Farm Sunday 2018 is on 11 June.

Schools can register their interest here: https://farmsunday.org/schools

Open Farm School Days are supported by FACE and LEAF.

Find out about Skype A Farmer/#FarmingFriday here.

Organic Farming Opportunities for Young People

Great news for young people

WWOOF UK has reduced the minimum age limit for people who want to volunteer on organic farms and as a special promotional opportunity, is offering ten £50 bursaries. If you are aged 16 or 17, live in the UK and would like to try WWOOFing (as volunteering with us is affectionately known), you can apply for a bursary at: http://www.wwoof.org.uk/ before 16 April 2018. The £50 bursary will cover your WWOOF UK membership fee and contribute £30 towards your travel expenses.

What is WWOOFING?

WWOOFing offers hands-on experience on organic farms, gardens and smallholdings – all provide food, accommodation and learning in exchange for practical help on the land. WWOOF UK holds a list of hosts who range from a low-impact woodland settlement to a 600-hectare mixed holding with on-site farm shop, cafe and education centre. Today in the UK we have  680 hosts and 4,700 volunteers.

WWOOF UK Co-ordinator Scarlett Penn says: ‘WWOOF has been facilitating amazing, life changing opportunities for people for more than 45 years and we are delighted to now offer opportunities to younger people too. We hope the bursaries will incentivise them to give WWOOFing a try and then spread the word about their experience to their families and friends.’

Join in!

If you are interested in getting practical experience of organic growing and farming, want to meet and get inspired by like-minded people, and understand more about the relationship between local food production and community spirit, then this project could be for you.

Visit their website for more.

Sutton Community Farm offers visits for local schools

Sutton Community Farm (SCF) is a 7 acre farm located in Wallington, south London. The farm is community-owned and not-for-profit and produces a wide variety of vegetables which are largely sold through an organic veg box scheme run by the farm.

Offer to local schools

SCF has received funding to subsidise the cost of local schools visits to attend workshop sessions.

Workshops focus on teaching young people how food is grown and where it comes from, in a setting that allows them to connect with nature in an outdoor learning environment.

The farm is set up to welcome pupils in either Key Stage 2 or 3, and can be flexible in fitting workshops around themes that link to the curriculum.

The funding needs to be spent by the end of the school year in 2018, and so SCF are looking to develop partner relationships with local schools.

Farming happens all year round, with different activities depending on the season.

School visits are possible on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays. Please contact the farm to check availability.

More information can be found on their website or call the farm phone Monday – Friday 8am – 4.30pm at 07722 156097.

 

The Farm Project CIC

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.

Special Offer

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).

To take advantage of this generous offer, or to find out more, please contact Maya at hello@thefarm.education or visit their website Contact Us page.

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

Deniz, 11