(March 2022)—Fourth-grade students across Valley Stream UFSD 13 worked collaboratively with Crossroads Farm on a farm-to-table initiative. Crossroads Farm offers numerous farm-based educational programs throughout the year. In the spring, the Sow to Grow Program is one of the Farm’s most popular educational offerings. The Sow to Grow Program educates students about the cycle of food from seed through harvest.
The Sow to Grow Program incorporates hands-on experiential learning in the classroom and at the Crossroads Farm. Representatives from the Farm came to each school to teach the students about soil blocking, planting lettuce seeds to be grown at the farm, and planting marigold seeds to be grown at home.
“Students truly enjoyed this hands-on experience while they were learning about the importance of growing food. Through their farm-to-table lessons, the students gained a better understanding and appreciation of the agricultural process, organic foods, healthy eating, and caring for the environment,” said Dr. Judith LaRocca, Superintendent of Valley Stream UFSD 13. “Agricultural education – understanding the food cycle and how food is grown – is an important part of the educational experience we offer our fourth-grade students.”
In early May, each fourth-grade class will go to Crossroads Farm to transplant the young lettuce plants they have been growing in their nursery pots at school. The students will receive weekly video updates to see the growth of their lettuce. In June, the students will go back for a Harvest Celebration where they will participate in the harvesting of their lettuce plants, clean them, and then use them to make a celebratory salad.