Agriculture in the Classroom 2017 is in the books. This year’s program included 72 students from Barker’s Point in Fredericton, Bristol Elementary in Florenceville-Bristol, Centreville Community School in Centreville and the Cougar Kittens after school program.
Students had 6 weeks of lessons and activities focused on agriculture and local food. They learned about soil quality, the life cycle of a seed, planted seeds, weeded garden beds, made seed bombs and built bee houses. The students also had a snack every week, with the goal of exposing them to healthy food options that they may not be familiar with in their homes. The five taste test on week one was a great place to start. Students were able to distinguish between salty, sweet, sour, bitter and umami. They were then provided with snacks that matched the different tastes, including pretzels, bananas, pickles and olives.
The next week they were able to experience an important aspect of New Brunswick agriculture with a root vegetable tasting. The variety of foods that the students ate at home were becoming apparent. This continued with the melon tasting, where most students were familiar with watermelon but many had never eaten a honeydew melon or a cantaloupe. We graphed and ranked the students preferences. The favorite snack was by far the smoothies on our last week. All the groups were able to enjoy the healthy snack after a hot day of playing and gardening outside. It was very refreshing.
The students watched their seeds sprout over the weeks and they were overjoyed when they were able to bring them home. Barker’s Point Elementary planted their seedlings in their school garden. They hope to be able to eat the produce in the fall as a part of a school snack program.
Agriculture in the Classroom wouldn’t be possible without the Community Food Action Grant through the Department of Social Development.