DA4 FIELD TRIP
to Union Square Greenmarket
On the morning of Wednesday, October 3rd, Deborah and Alicia's (DA) fourth grade class made the mile-long journey north to Union Square's Greenmarket Farmers Market. "The motivation for this trip is to have our students become more aware of where good food comes from," Head Teacher Deborah Hodge explained. "We were able to visit the Hawthorne Stand as a preview to our trip to Hawthorne Farm later this month. The overarching theme of this project is to ensure that we are connected to the natural environment. We quite literally get outside of the city to do it, and that provides a unique learning experience for our students."
Equipped with a clipboard and pencil, each fourth grader was encouraged to think critically through a series of questions. After researching the geographical regions of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania, students were able to draw connections in understanding the proximity of where their food comes from. As one student declared, "The markets are able to have this good food because they travel early in the morning for us."
Along with stopping by the Hawthorne Stand, Deborah and Alicia led groups to the Tamarack Hollow Farm Stand (Barre, VT), Philips Farms (Milford, NJ), Baker's Bounty (Linden, NJ), and Sycamore Farms (Middletown, NY). The farmer from Sycamore Farms was quick to point out that raspberries are particularly good in the fall, recommending October as the optimal month for the class to try their produce.
Inquisitive students were then given the opportunity to ask farmers a wide range of questions about their products, such as: What happens if delivering the food takes longer than you expect? Why is yogurt your speciality? Why do you offer pears but not pineapple? Students were quick to decipher there were vegetables that were offered in the market, but not traditional grocery stores. Through investigative inquiry, and sampling items ranging from tomatoes to jams, students gained a greater appreciation for the origin of the food.
As a final step to the trip, each group was allotted a budget for purchasing items of their choice, thereby simulating a real-life shopping experience in which they use a mathematical component to weigh their decision. After evaluating their options, cookies, apple cider, and baguettes were selected as finalists, with a final vote determining cider would make the trip back to Sixth Avenue. Snack time will be particularly fun this afternoon! Stay tuned for more updates from the class following their Farm Trip.