Elementary students get hands dirty learning about where food comes from

Lane County invites kids to farms to celebrate National Farm to School Month

SPRINGFIELD — A group of third-grade students from Guy Lee Elementary School got some hands-on farming experience Friday as they picked hundreds of peppers, walked through rows of lettuce, dug for worms and used their freshly harvested produce to craft their own harvest chili.

On their first field trip of the year, the 22 students took a one-mile walk from the school to FOOD for Lane County’s Youth Farm, where they were by met by several volunteers and a farmer.

Gathered in a half-circle at the edge of the farm, the students listened to farmer Jean Marie Spilker talk about her love of the land and what the students would be doing for the day. Several children, eager to learn about farming, could barely keep still or quiet as they split into groups of three, visiting one station at a time, switching after 45 minutes.

To kick things off, one group headed out to the corner of one field to harvest peppers. Another group took a short walking tour through jungles of broccoli and huge tomato plants to complete a scavenger hunt, while a third group made the bean base for the harvest chili.

October is National Farm to School Month, and Lane County is celebrating by inviting 187 students to various farms in the area to learn about where their food comes from.

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By Alisha Roemeling, The Register-Guard