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's Governors Island Teaching Garden is an 8,000 square foot urban farm that aims to engage, excite, and educate New York City public school students in all aspects of urban farming. Through developmentally appropriate, experiential and educational programming, students participate in activities such as planting, watering, weeding, mulching, harvesting, cooking, and caring for chickens.
The following farms also offer educational tours:
Queens County Farm Museum is the a working historical farm in the New York 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 Pprogram. Located in Little Neck, Queens.
Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture 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).
Hilltop Hanover Farm
Hilltop Hanover Farm & Environmental Center is a non profit farm and education center offering an integrative and engaging educational experience. Hilltop Hanover Farm reinforces STEM and Core Curriculum through a unique, hands-on, and place-based programs. Students participate in learning activities that motivate, inspire, and instill an appreciation for agriculture and the environment. By leaving the traditional classroom behind, we offer opportunities to learn about the natural environment through conversations with farmers, and interaction with crops, crows, chickens, and bees. To schedule a trip email firstname.lastname@example.org. Located in Yorktown Heights, Westchester County, NY (about 50 minutes 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).
Added Value/Red Hook Community Farm 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.
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: email@example.com. Located in Millerton, NY (about 2 hours each way).
Battery Urban Farm (The Battery Conservancy) 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, 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 Farm Store offers ice cream, cider, donuts, and local goods. 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. Call 845-987-4377 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your trip, please call at least one week in advance.
City Growers is an educational nonprofit that uses the resources of the Brooklyn Grange rooftop farm to connect youth to nature and give students a new perspective on their city. Their programming, led by experienced educators, takes place in three working urban farms on roofs, in Long Island City, Queens; Sunset Park, Brooklyn; and Brooklyn Navy Yard. Workshops vary, and school groups can choose from a full menu of educational workshops that explore the intersections of health and sustainability. The most popular offering, Farm Explore, provides an introduction to urban agriculture, allowing students to witness a sustainable, working farm in action. Students of all ages will engage in hands-on lessons about where food comes from, plant science, composting, honey bees, and chickens. While specific activities change from season to season, lessons are structured around a comprehensive tour of Brooklyn Grange. For more information and bookings go to their website or email email@example.com.