One of our dreams for this farming project is that it may serve to inspire and educate others about growing your own food, permaculture and living in harmony with nature. It’s been exciting to see our space (and our experiments) used for some educational purposes in the last year: first as a field trip destination for a permaculture class and a master organic gardener class and more recently, as a field trip destination for the grade 12 social justice class from Thomas Haney Secondary School in Maple Ridge.
Matt and I were on hand when the students came by so we gave them a tour, spoke to them about our project and filled them in on some of the different methods we’re experimenting with on the farm. Teachers Mark and Jenny gave questions to the students in advance that they were supposed to be thinking about and asking us about while at the farm. The questions included:
What is a food forest anyway?
What are those rings of plants around your fruit trees?
Benefits of composting?
Can we eat the lasagne garden?
What’s up with square foot gardening?
What do chickens need a tractor for?
Why use heritage breeds?
SUCH great questions! (The lasagne garden one was the most popular :) The visit made me wish that I could have been learning about this stuff when I was in high school. I’m pretty sure I would have gotten started with growing my own food a lot earlier if I had. I think it’s fantastic that high school students are getting exposed to issues of food justice, health and environmental protection. It makes me feel hopeful about the future.
All in all, the visit was a success (at least we think so!) and so much fun. Matt and I had a blast talking to the students, watching them eat nasturtiums and kale straight from the garden, introducing them to our baby chicks, testing their knowledge about compostable matter, and enlisting them to move our chicken tractor for us.
To Mark, Jenny & al
l the students who came to visit us – thanks for coming! We hope you’ll come back again soon and continue to explore ways in which we can pursue healthier, happier lives that benefit each other and our environment.