Going to a farm with your kids
August 21, 2013


If you haven’t visited a local farm with your kids, you should definitely give it a try. Whether you head to a “pick your own” farm or a farm that raises animals, your visits are sure to be rewarding experiences for the entire family. 

All too often these days, kids seem to have lost a connection to the food they eat.  Many children don’t realize that much of the food that they see at the grocery store was actually grown or raised on a farm.  So taking your family to a farm is not only a fun trip to the fresh air, but educational because you will be providing them with the opportunity to deepen their relationship and understanding of food, learn about sustainability and conservation, and develop a respect for farms, farmers, and animals.

More and more, parents seem to be trying to provide their children with the farm-to-table experience, and picking your very own fruits and vegetables together may be the best way to do this.  My kids love going to local farms to pick fruit when it is in season.  We are fortunate to have many of these farms in our area, and we are able to pick all sorts of berries, apples, and peaches.  I always say that the food seems to taste better if we have picked it ourselves, and my kids would definitely agree. If we end up picking too much—which we usually do—we just freeze what is leftover so that we can enjoy the fruits of our labor later in the year.

Taking kids to a farm that raises animals is also a great hands-on experience. Some farms offer tours, give demonstrations, and even allow kids to try milking a cow or goat.  We have a dairy farm near us that we visit fairly often. While on a visit there last winter we were able to witness a calf being born which Lucas, my then-7-year-old, found fascinating.  The farmer was on hand and was more than happy to answer all of the questions Lucas had for him.  Many of these farms sell their dairy products and meats, so be prepared in case your little ones have some pointed questions to ask you about where these products came from.

Some tips about visiting a farm with your kids:

  • Make sure that the farm you are planning to go to welcomes visitors.
  • Talk to your kids ahead of time about the things they may see and smell while on a farm.  This is especially true for farms that raise animals.
  • Dress appropriately. Farms can be muddy and have manure, so wear a sturdy pair of shoes.
  • Talk to your kids about being respectful of the farms, animals, and farmers.  Many times, these are also the farmers’ homes.
  • Make sure everyone washes their hands thoroughly when you are leaving a farm. Extra wipes and hand sanitizer may be good to have on-hand.

For more information about farms in your area, check out www.localharvest.org or www.pickyourown.org

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On your next visit to your favorite park or playground, bring gloves and a bag and pick up trash for a few minutes before playing. Or take a trash hike around the block or anywhere else you like.



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