By Emily Armstrong Oberto
It’s a cool New England morning. A crackle of frost covers the fields, glinting as the sun comes over the ridge. You take in a cleansing breath and set to work bringing the cows in for milking. Your muck boots crunch on the crystalline grass as you encourage the herd towards the dairy. Though your mind is present on the task at hand, you prepare for the busy day ahead—breakfast in the dining hall, a math exam, the soccer game after school…
While not yet a mainstream activity, experiences like this one are becoming a curricular component at a growing number of schools in the region. In certain cases these endeavors may owe something to the resurgence of the “back to the land” movement or the work of such food luminaries as Alice Waters, patron saint of school gardens, or food journalists like Michael Pollan. In other cases, student farming is a return to an institution’s own pastoral history or the result of the explosive flowering of teenage creativity.
Regardless of their origins, these programs each use experiential learning to connect students in some way with the land, their community and the food they eat.… Read the rest