Visiting Nana Cardoon- an Urban Learning Farm 2019-2020

  • Location
    Forest Grove, Oregon
  • Status
  • Age Level
    8 to 10 Years
    11 to 13 Years
  • Group Type
    K-12 School

The Problem

Many people don't really have a connection as to where their food actually comes from. Nutritious, healthy food is best produced locally and it is especially important for young people to play a part in growing it.

Our Plan

Our Tom McCall Roots&Shoots group has been making visits for some years now to Nana Cardoon, an urban learning farm. Trips were planned for November, April, May, and June. Our visits are 1/2 day events. Students plant, harvest, weed, prepare soil, prepare food, and explore the changes happening as the seasons change.

Themes Addressed

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    Community Enhancement
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    Food Choices
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The Benefit

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Here is how the project went:

We had a great visit to the farm in November. Members explored soil and worked to improve it. They explored to land to see how plants changed as Winter moved in, and even harvested some edible plants. They made a wonderful Japanese themed meal of sticky rice, nori, 'quick' pickles, and miso soup. This was topped off with fair trade chocolate. We were very disappointed that we did not get to go on our Spring visits due to the Covid19 shut down of the school. We missed experiencing the plants coming alive with growth. The club eventually was run "virtually"via technology. We did get to visit the farm through the kindness of the owner, who took us on a visual tour with her phone camera. Things sure changed month to month as Spring took hold.

Through this project I/we learned:

The project taught us where food really comes from and that locally produced food was more nutritious and delicious. We learned respect for the land and the people who work on it.

What I/we might change:

We will do this project again next year. We had to practice flexibility and patience this year due to things that were not in our control.

My/our favorite part of this project was:

Our favorite part of this project was the interactions and relationship formed with Charlene, the owner of Nana Cardoon. Of course, the food was amazing, especially with us part of creating it.

Some tips, tricks or fun facts about the project:

We are blessed in Forest Grove to have an urban learning farm, like Nana Cardoon. You need to find a person/farm with a passion for working with young people. Perhaps this would be a local food coop? We did have to pursue some grant money to fund our trips.

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