The Randall’s Island Park Alliance’s Edible Education program offers free educational activities at RIPA’s Urban Farm to students of all ages (grades K – 12), in partnership with local schools and groups, as well as through RIPA’s free summer camps. The Urban Farm and outdoor kitchen give students a deeper understanding of soil biodiversity, how food is grown and the need for nutritious food in our community. The variety of classes offered allow students to foster meaningful student interaction with the farm’s plentiful assortment of fresh grown vegetables and fruits, compost, rice paddies, and even chickens. This positive space for hands-on learning allows students to explore aspects of their ecosystem and to harvest, cook, and eat a communal meal together, all while adhering to academic standards in the life sciences.
Lessons adapt to seasonal changes, as well as to what is available in the Farm at the time of the field trip; however, classes can be tailored to the needs of teachers and developed to align with what students are learning in the classroom. All three options also adhere to New York State Scope and Sequence along with Common Core Standards.
Edible Education Field-Trips
The Urban Farm’s Edible Education programs offer school children, community groups, families, and individuals, the opportunity to explore the Urban Farm in both formal and informal ways.
Field-Trips (April through October): In a two-hour visit, students get a broad introduction to the farm by rotating through activities that engage their five senses in learning. They explore the diversity of fruits and vegetables available on the farm during a “walking, talking, tasting tour,” and prepare a simple farm-fresh dish with their harvest. They meet a flock of chickens and learn about their living habits and their significance to a farm and the farm’s surrounding community. They get their hands dirty, learning about compost and the important role worms play in growing our food. Along the way, students explore the relationships of vegetables within different families of crops, plant anatomy, pollination, and the relationships of animals to plants within the ecology of the farm.
“I was really impressed with the variety of produce that you have at your farm. Getting to taste some it with my students was my favorite activity! Some of them have never tasted kale or beets, so it was nice to be able to expose them to different types of vegetables that they might enjoy.”
“[I enjoyed] Seeing the children learn about nature/gardening/nutrition with people who obviously love what they do in the such a relaxed and beautiful environment. There was clearly a lot of thought and planning involved.”
“It was such an amazing experience and it will be a good memory for me and the kids. I cannot thank you enough and the soba was yummy…!”