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Here in MS, although Spring does start early, it can be chilly straight through February. To launch February, I've declared the first week as Farmer Week! Reach out to a farmer and have him/her come to your garden class. The children love to see farmers, the vegetables, and maybe even an animal that he/she may bring. Pair it with teaching the children about where their food comes from (i.e. how the apple maybe came from Washington or how the hamburger meat they ate for dinner came from Texas.) Begin to teach the children the importance of eating local to help support farmer's like the one that visited the students.
Students understand that the food we eat usually comes from really far away places and that It is better to eat locally where food is fresh right away.
Introduce the guest farmer. Ask the farmer to show the different parts of a plant and where the seeds can be found for future plants. Ask the farmer to describe all the work involved in planting and harvesting the plants, as well as describe the routine of a typical day. Have the farmer describe the path of his/her produce from the farm to the grocery store and the students' tables. Also, the farmer can describe the different things that happen on a farm during the different seasons of the year.
- Discuss how to preserve fresh foods that come from farms so that we - can eat corn and beans in the winter and peaches in February. Show them freezer items, dried items and canned items. Brainstorm a list of common dried foods such as raisins, rice, pasta, beans, peas and spices. Brainstorm a list of foods that are frozen or canned for future use.
“Where does your Food Come From??”
Materials: large world map, 8x11 photocopies of maps, food cut outs of normal Jackson grocery shopping cart
Objective: To explore where our food comes from and map out the distance it travels to reach us, to gain a sense it is better to grow your own food.
Divide class into two groups, each with own map
Ensure the world map, grocery bags, and food cut outs are ready.
Introduce the activity.
Invite one student at a time to come to the front of the class and choose an item from t he Mississippi Grocery Bag. Have them read out the label, stating where the item comes from.
Ask for a second volunteer to indicate, on the map, the province or country the food comes from – sticking a paper cutout on the map for visual reference.
Repeat, until all items in the bag have been addressed.