SenPokChin Elementary School, Oliver, BC

How to make your Farm to School Program more exciting than recess? Take your students to the great outdoor classroom for a food adventure!

Recently, Sen Pok Chin students from Oliver, BC took part in The Corny Tour at Covert Farms Organics Family Estate. Students in grades kindergarten to grade two took a hayride through the 600 acre farm which grows over 6o different crops, grazing their way through the fields! The tour was jam packed with many educational opportunities and sweet and savory experiences.

First of all, the students learned what it means to be an organic farm and saw examples of companion planting, and learned about “good bugs and bad bugs”. Then, they got to see firsthand what products come from a farm, from ground crops to fresh strawberries to beehives to chickens and sheep. Not only did they get to witness all of the workings of a farm, but they got to meet one of the farmers, Shelly Covert, that makes all this farming magic happen. Next, as the name of the tour suggests, the students went to the corn fields to see how corn grows and learned about all the different types of corn. Then in order to prepare for the feast at the end of the tour, students visited the new baby calf and learned how to get milk.

Finally, the students arrived at the final destination of the hayride – the Covert Farms outdoor kitchen and dining area. This is when it was time to shake things up! All of the students were given a small mason jar with fresh cow’s milk and they shook up the jar until they had made fresh butter. Then the feast of organic corn  began as they smothered their steamy cobs with fresh butter from their jars. And to sweeten things up a little more, all the students left the farm with a box of freshly picked strawberries.

The Corny Tour was an excellent spinoff to a year filled with educational experiences that center around gardening. The kindergarten students loved the experience of eating fresh corn so much, that they planted a long row in the school garden with the three sisters; corn, beans and squash. The kindergarten students have also had the rich learning experience of creating individual worm farms in their classroom with red wrigglers and have planted a butterfly garden in the SPC School Garden. It’s been a wonderful year of outdoor learning!

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