The California State Fair has launched a farm to school program.
Elementary students in the Sacramento region are visiting the fair ground’s 3.5-acre farm to learn about planting, growing and eating fruits and vegetables.
The program director Natalie Minas designed the curriculum.
“We teach them all about seeds, and growing in a greenhouse and worms," she says. "So, hopefully, they take some of that home with them. Or, when they go to the grocery store with their parents they say, ‘Hey, I want a zucchini.’”
Sara Dillon, 7, carefully places a handful of sunflower seeds in a plastic cup at the science of seeds station. She plans to plant them when she gets home.
Dillon proudly says, “They grow with water and sun and soil.”
Neel Duttagupta and Ethan Rhee, both in the second grade, are nibbling from a giant plate of chopped fruits and vegetables at the produce tasting table.
“Cucumbers are used for salad," says Duttagupta.
Rhee adds, "The tomatoes are used for ketchup, pizza sauce and spaghetti sauce.”
But, the soil station was definitely the most popular stop. Students excitedly dig their small hands into composting bins.
Students also tour crop fields and learn about hydroponic growing in the greenhouse.
This year’s State Fair Farm Tours are offered to elementary schools in the Sacramento region for six weeks this fall and again in the spring.