We believe it is important that children ought to learn about our food systems through experiential learning, in addition to their academic and extra-curricular activities. Like how sports, art, music, drama is taught at school, we believe it is important that urban farming should be taught at school.
At OES, we teach natural farming techniques across crop cycles to children on our OES Children’s Farm campus at Hyderabad.
Recently, we’ve been approached by several large schools to set an urban mini-farms for children within their campuses in Hyderabad. Objective of setting these mini-farms is to help children develop new skills as well as learn about science, nature and origins of food.
Through urban farm activities, children discover real-life, authentic first-hand experiences, which will contribute to compassion towards our collective environment. Many studies have shown that children learn a lot from growing plants as well as develop new skills including:
Under careful adult supervision, children will get to watch and do full-cycle farming activities. While younger ones can help in watering plants, weeding, harvesting and planting seeds, the older children will be capable of handling a greater variety of activities, like digging, planting, mulching, pruning, harvesting and finally, whipping a quick nutritious meal.
We advise on soil preparation and improvements on campus, create crop plans across seasons, design curriculum-apt learning experiences across grades, help with sourcing seeds and saplings, train teachers on learning delivery by our farm coaches, and train school gardeners on proper maintenance of the farm patches. We also run the pilot programs across 3 seasons to help the school representatives to gain instructional skills and knowledge as well.
We advise the school pedagogical team on how to integrate farming lessons into their timetables, be it part of their regular class timing or as after school activities.
Urban farming is a healthy, fun activity for children and we look forward to the time when children can work with the soil, seeds, plants and veggies. Our dream is to set-up 1 children’s farm in every school in Hyderabad. And we have realised progressive schools are great co-educators in our journey to ensure Education on Sustainability is mainstreamed across India.
Connecting children with the natural world at a young age is the first step in creating responsible stewards of our collective future. If you are part of school management or part of PTA and would like to set up an urban mini-farm in your school or community, please connect to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and by phone 9154100775.