Sundance Times - Continuing the Crook County News Since 1884

Where did this one come from?


June 6, 2019

Sarh Pridgeon

A clutch of 31 chicks huddled together at the courthouse last week while they waited to move into their very own barn at the fairgrounds, near the Crook County Extension Office greenhouse. The chicks were hatched by Sundance’s kindergarten classes as part of the “Where Food Comes From” project.

The idea is to teach kids where their food really comes from, says Sara Fleenor, Extension Educator, which begins with grinding wheat.

“In the fall, the kindergarteners will start with their Little Red Hen garden. We’re growing wheat down there and then we’re going to make bread with the kindergarteners,” she says.

The fall activity is followed in spring by the chick hatching. Projects continue throughout elementary school, with each grade level enjoying opportunities in fall and spring to find out more about their food. The whole project works on a continuous cycle, says Fleenor.

“For instance, our kindergarteners this spring hatched the chicks, then next fall they will get to see those chickens in egg production,” she says.

By second grade, those same kids will be looking at chicken genetics and the differences between meat and egg production. Meanwhile, on the plant side of things, they will start with the opportunity to plant bat or ladybug gardens, then plant a garden in a glove; harvest corn and make butter; transplant seeds to a hoop house; make pizza from the “pizza garden”; plant and then dig up potatoes; and finally, in fifth grade, plant a garden for the kindergarten class.

The pizza garden has been especially instructive, Fleenor smiles. The idea is to plant or make every ingredient necessary to bake a delicious pie.

“We’re going to do it from scratch so they get to know where their food comes from down to the basics of how to grow garlic and how herbs work,” she says.

Sarh Pridgeon

“I asked what goes on a pizza and one kid said, ‘cheese’. I asked where cheese comes from and they said, ‘Well, the store’. One kid knew it was from milk, so I said we were going to have to make cheese for this class too.”

Crook County is a rural area, so the “Where Food Comes From” project aims to give kids more opportunities to experience rural life and get to know their food sources through growing vegetables and raising animals.

“It’s beyond the realm of a regular classroom, but we can also incorporate reading, math, writing. We can do a lot of the [school] standards in an outdoor classroom activity that keeps the kids interested,” Fleenor says.


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