3rd-graders learn value of local agriculture

FARM FRIENDS: (from left to right) Mason Grant, Miles French and Cooper Barnett of Estes Elementary School explored the connections between farms and the community. Photo courtesy of Donalyn Small, AIG Specialist at Estes
FARM FRIENDS: (from left to right) Mason Grant, Miles French and Cooper Barnett of Estes Elementary School explored the connections between farms and the community. Photo courtesy of Donalyn Small, AIG Specialist at Estes

By Mason Grant, Miles French and Cooper Barnett, Estes Elementary School

Estes Elementary School third-grade Academically Intellectually Gifted students are working on a Farm Community Awareness Campaign. We want people to know more about farms, but we also want people to realize that farms are not just cows, pigs and other animals that you think of as basically boring. Farms are more interesting than you might think they are.

Local farms contribute to local restaurants like Corner Kitchen, Vortex Doughnuts, Omni Grove Park Inn, Curate, Plant, All Souls Pizza, Farm Burger, Glass Onion, Eden-Out Meals, Mother Earth Produce, Mountain Food Products and more. Some farms even have classes where you can learn about farming! Some farms have animals that you might not expect. In fact, some farms have llamas and alpacas to make fibers for knitting! Some farms even have cottages that people can stay in for a vacation. Some farms produce goat milk. Did you know that goat milk is better for you than cow milk?

Now that you know more about farms, we hope you think more highly about them. There are also many farmers markets here in Asheville, where farmers bring their homegrown food that is fresh and tasty for you to buy.

We really enjoyed this unit, and so did our classmates. “I liked harvesting crops of kale and spinach, then eating them when we made them into a smoothie,” says third-grade student Owen Johnson, after we returned from a field trip to Ivy Creek Family Farm. Connor Brown also enjoyed learning about local farms. He says, “I like having so many local farms in Buncombe County because the food is so much fresher than commercially grown food.”

We spent three to four weeks working on and researching local farms. This unit gave us the chance to learn about something important that we may not have ever known about. Our teacher, Mrs. Small says, “I think that it is important that kids learn at a young age where our food comes from and how it gets from farm to table. We want people to be aware of all the agricultural treasures that we have right here in our own backyard.”

Thank you. We hope you learned more about local farms and that you are able to visit many of them.

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