A farm visit that explores how food is grown and how animals are raised is an ideal way for city children to understand and connect with where their food comes from. By learning how a farm works, children experience the natural world in a new way and make a vital connection between the social, ecological, and economic importance of agriculture in their lives.
GrowNYC is offering free farm tours for NYC public schools:
Randall's Island Learning Garden is a 3,000 square foot urban farm that aims to provide schools and groups who lack on-site or proximal open space with the experience of environmental education and nutritional learning by growing, harvesting, and eating garden-fresh produce. Tour groups are invited to spend 2-3 hours at the garden, learning about growing and nutrition. More information about tours of the Randall's Island Learning Garden ishere. Located on Randall's Island, New York.
The following farms offer educational tours:
The Queens County Farm Museum is the only working historical farm in the City dating back to 1697. The site includes historic farm buildings, a greenhouse complex, livestock, farm vehicles and implements, planting fields, an orchard and herb garden. They offer a series of interactive educational programs for children and adults, including Greenhouse Workshops, Farmyard Tours, and the Hands On Farm Program. Located in Little Neck, Queens, New York.
Stone Barns mission is to celebrate, teach and advance community-based food production and enjoyment, from farm to classroom to table. Stone Barns offers a rich variety of programs for all ages. All programs include a farm visit and an experiential activity to engage students in learning about the importance of ecological, community-based farming. Located in Pocantico Hills, Westchester County, NY (about 45 minutes each way).
Hawthorne Valley Farm is a certified organic and biodynamic vegetable and livestock farm. Their education and outreach programs for children and adults strive to raise awareness of the importance of agriculture in our daily lives. Located in Ghent, New York (about 2 1/2 hours each way).
Valley Shepherd Creamery is an artisanal sheep dairy that offers school tours including Spring Lambing, Sheep Products, and Fall Harvest. All tours include a tour of the farm and dairy, discuss the cheese making process and include tastings. Located in Long Valley, New Jersey (about 1 hour drive each way).
Wilklow Orchards is a 6th generation family farm in the Hudson Valley. A visit to their farm may include apple and pumpkin picking, petting farm animals, hayrides and hayjumps, watching donuts being made, and picnicking beneath the apple trees. Contact the Wilklows for more information on scheduling a visit. Located in Highland, NY (about 1 hour 45 minutes each way).
Working with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, Added Value transformed a once dilapidated playground into a vibrant 2.5 acre urban farm and Farmers Market operated in part by the youth from the Red Hook community. Added Value hosts a variety of educational programs. Teachers can come for a half-day or day-long service learning project in which they explore the Farm while learning about the social, economic, and environmental issues related to urban agriculture. Located in Red Hook, Brooklyn, New York.
McEnroe Organic Farm raises vegetables and livestock on over 800 acres in the Hudoson Valley. In addition to offering tours of their farm and composting facility, they have an education program that invites local schools, camps, and community groups to use the farm as a hands-on learning experience. They work with local schools to give students the opportunity to use the farm as a learning tool, allowing children to plant seeds, test soils, graft plants, and much more. They work with educators to plan a program that relates to the students' class work. For information please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org. Located in Millerton, NY (about 2 hours each way).
Battery Urban Farm offers on-site education opportunities for student farmers to get their hands in soil and learn about growing (and eating!) great food -- from seed to plant to plate, and back to soil. Enrichment Visits (farm field trips for school and camp groups) are a great introduction to urban farming and sustainable vegetable production. Farm-based learning opportunities are available on a weekly basis during the school year through Teacher-Led and Farm Educator-Led Classes and during the summer through the City Seedlings Summer Program. Located in Battery Park, Manhattan.
Fishkill Farms is a family-owned, third-generation fruit and vegetable farm in the town of East Fishkill, NY, in the Hudson River Valley. Using environmentally-friendly farming practices (organic wherever possible), they grow apples, peaches, pears, cherries, berries, vegetables, and a flock of pasture-raised laying hens. Farm visits June through October are a fun and hands-on way for students to learn where their food comes from. Kids can harvest their own fruit, take a hayride tour, learn about farming, and enjoy some of the best views in the Valley. Fishkill Farms also carry ice cream, cider, donuts and local goods in their farm store. In September and October, the harvest is celebrated with live entertainment, barbecue, apple picking and more.
School rates are $7 per person, which includes set quantity for fruit picking. Additional options for hayride, donuts, cider and other food. Please call at least one week to schedule. We can be reached at 845-987-4377 or e-mail email@example.com to schedule your trip.