In the summer of 2013, the Garces Foundation launched a field trip program at Luna Farm, the Garces family farm in Bucks County. This program connects young people to their food by demonstrating the importance of a healthy diet and exercise and by teaching youth how to prepare fresh, nutritious meals and snacks. Participants are engaged in hands on learning activities that include planting and harvesting vegetables, participating in physical exercise and a nature walk, and cooking lunch with produce they harvest.
The first portion of the trip consists of a walking tour through the greenhouse where students are introduced to the process of harvesting fresh produce. They are invited to pick fresh vegetables that will be used later to prepare lunch. The youth are then taught how to plant their own vegetables including the proper steps of caring for their own seedling, which they take home at the end of the trip.
The second portion of the trip teaches youth about the benefits of daily exercise and physical activity. The youth participate in engaging group games and are encouraged to have fun with their exercise. From here, they are guided on a nature walk that takes them through and around the space of the farm. Our mission is not only to get the youth excited about being active, but to get them thinking about how they may keep active outside the space of the farm, specifically in their home environment.
The third portion of the trip provides students with a comprehensive understanding of the process of food from farm to table. The young people are instructed in the steps of food preparation and cooking, using the produce they harvested earlier in the day. Our goal is to prompt youth to try something new in a healthy and fun way. From harvesting, to exercise, to healthy eating, children are engaged on all levels of wellness and encouraged to maintain these habits at home.
In 2014 over 350 young people from 12 different schools or community groups spanning 4 counties in the greater Philadelphia region participated in Luna Farm Field Trips.