Farm-to-Table Activities

Instructor: Grace Pisano

Grace has a bachelor's degree in history and a master's degree in teaching. She previously taught high school in several states around the country.

Farm-to-table is a 21st-century food and environmental sustainability movement. In this resource, you will find three different activities that allow students to engage with this topic in practical ways.

Why Farm-to-Table Activities?

The farm-to-table idea encourages food establishments to buy and serve food from local vendors. This movement was started to give consumers a better idea of where their food comes from, support small-scale, local businesses, and increase the availability of fresh seasonal food for the consumer. With the following activities, students will have the chance to learn more about the farm-to-table movement, become active agents of change, and enhance their critical thinking skills. The activities are intended for students of all ability levels, and can be adapted to meet the readinesses of upper-elementary through high school students.

Researching Local Resources

Materials Needed: computer/tablet access

For this first activity, students will use the internet to find and research local resources that could be used in a farm-to-table style eatery. Things they will research should include at least some of the following:

  • what types of crops and other food products are local to the area
  • where these items can be purchased
  • the price of the items
  • how the food selection changes with the season

After doing the research, there are a variety of extension activities you could include in your classroom. Some of these activities could include creating a menu where a majority of the ingredients come from local sources or having a discussion of the economic impact of buying products from these small companies. You could also encourage students to look for some of these products at the grocery store or local farmer's market.

Letter to a School Board Member

Materials Needed: paper, envelopes, contact information for school board representative

In this activity, students will be writing a letter to a school board member in which they encourage the school board member to implement farm-to-table practices into the district's school menu. The letter should be organized into three parts. In the first part, students should explain what the farm-to-table concept is and how it is beneficial. In the second part of the letter, they will talk about how the plan could be implemented into school breakfast and lunches. In the final part, they should use persuasive writing techniques to convince the school board member to implement these practices.

Class Discussion of Pros and Cons

Materials Needed: computer/tablet access

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