Earlier this month, the Committee Chair of the Coppell Farmers Market, Karen Pearsall-Gillham, sat on the border of the new Learning Garden at the Farmers Market with a dozen or so local children. She was passing around a few onions purchased from a farmer just that morning. Karen asked her audience of excitable kiddos “can you all help me find the baby onion plants?” For many of these children it was their first time to consider that an onion grows in the ground. This is one example of how Farm-Based Education helps children to learn where their food comes from.
Farm-Based Education, have you heard of it? As local food production becomes more popular, small farms are on the rise and so is the opportunity to teach from and about them. When one thinks about farm education they may think about the song “Old McDonald”. This new term has been coined to encompass so much more than the generic children’s book that depicts rows of corn and pigs in a mud puddle.
According to the Farm-Based Education Association the term names “a form of experiential, interdisciplinary education that connects people to the environment, their community, and the role of agriculture in our lives.”
Offering this sort of education is high on the agenda of the Coppell Farmers Market. The first children’s class at the new Learning Garden– installed last winter in partnership with the Coppell Parks & Rec department– will take place on March 26th! The class will kick off with story time at 9:30am, followed by planting demonstration & garden craft.
More upcoming educational events at the Coppell Farmers Market:
- “What’s Growing?” –scheduled to take place every market day at 10:30am, a time for children to come together at the Learning Garden to find out what’s growing.
- Market to Kitchen Chef Demonstrations- the first of the season scheduled on April 30th at 10am.