Students of all ages enjoy learning at Community Farm of Simsbury! All CFS activities are tied to grade level expectations and state curriculum standards. CFS staff work with teachers to coordinate activities and best enhance classroom lessons. Detailed lesson / field trip plans are prepared and all activities are thoroughly evaluated to ensure a quality experience. Watch this Video of CFS School Programs in Action.
Simsbury and Hartford 4th Grade Program
CFS has taken on a new educational project serving nearly 600 fourth grade students from ten different schools in Hartford and Simsbury. The program began in September 2011 and will run through June 2012 with a focus on increasing student academic gains, improving student health and nutrition, improving social interaction between urban and suburban students, and exposing students to community service opportunities.
Simsbury and Hartford schools have been paired together for a series of 4 field trips to the farm. Students participate in team building activities, create healthy meals using the CFS licensed commercial kitchen, and learn about growing organic food, both at the farm and in the raised bed gardens. When asked about the farm learning experience, Hartford teacher Candice Server replied, “My students love the opportunity to participate in hands-on farm activities, and they are proud that they have been given responsibility for their own learning!”
The project covers all academic areas, with one exciting component including a science experiment to answer the question of whether or not plants could grow through the winter.
The students planted in raised garden beds with three different types of seeds, adding a layer of complexity to the science experiment, as students hypothesized which plants had the best chance of surviving through the winter. Beds were planted with hardy, cool weather crops such as spinach, arugula, sorrel, lettuce, and various other greens. Each raised bed is covered with a plastic hoop.
Students will follow-up by observing the beds, collecting data, making drawings, and measuring the plants. Additionally, students will graph the changes over the winter months and into the spring, monitoring differences in air temperature outside and inside the beds, and discovering the impact of the cover on keeping the plants warm.
Throughout the winter and early spring, students will harvest what has grown and have the chance to prepare and eat the healthy greens they cared for. In accordance with the mission of the farm, surplus produce will be donated to people in need through Simsbury Social Services and the Gifts of Love distribution channels.