This summer marks the fourth year of our camp, Summer on the Farm. Summer on the Farm was the first education program we offered, and that first year we started with just a trial week of 3 students. From that first summer it has grown every year in the number of campers and range of activities that we do. The ethos is still the same: give kids a stimulating and unique experience on our farm, while constantly learning about agriculture, nutrition, health, and the environment – without everything feeling like a lesson. We spend almost the whole day outside (weather permitting).
The only activities we repeat daily are volunteering on the farm and hands on cooking. Even though these are a part of the daily schedule, they are never the same. The farm task can rotate from harvesting different vegetables, to washing, sorting, or packaging produce, making boxes, or even cleaning buckets (which is a welcome water activity in the summer heat!). Each day for the cooking activity we survey the learning garden, find what is ripest, and then learn how to pick it. Then we practice our knife skills to make simple dishes like tomato salsa, or salad with homemade dressing.
The rest of the day is spent in a mix of activities. There could be a lesson about pH and an experiment testing different household ingredients to see if they are acidic or basic. We could learn about all the different uses for herbs and then plant our own herb garden to take home. After a lesson about seed dispersal, we might create our own seeds. Or we could go on a hike and search for different flora and fauna that are most active in summer.
Summer on the Farm is an immersive experience that capitalizes on the best experiences and lessons of the season. This year we are running camp for two weeks. The first, August 8-12, is for students entering 2nd-6th grades. The second week, August 15-19, is for students entering 4th-8th grades. The activities will be different across weeks and age groups. To sign up and for a sample schedule please visit www.community-harvest.org/camp or email firstname.lastname@example.org with additional questions.