Last Saturday, several Reno Moms Blog contributors, along with their kiddos, spent the morning at Urban Roots. Founded on the idea that food is a powerful tool for academic and sustainable agriculture instruction, Urban Roots provides school and farm-based opportunities for teachers, students, families, and future farmers.
We spent time exploring the farm, which included feeding goats and pigs, petting chickens, learning about bees, checking out the garden, catching bugs, and painting a rock to decorate our gardens at home.
“I was ridiculously excited at the opportunity to attend since I’d been trying to find a family gardening workshop. I told the boys we were going to a fun garden place – I didn’t realize there was an entire farm! It was easy to convince my boys to tour the farm once piglets and goats were mentioned. Despite being too nervous to feed the goats, my 5-year old was full of questions, which were answered by a knowledgeable tour guide. My 2-year old was excited to pet and feed all the animals, fearlessly sticking his hand out as if begging them to eat it! They loved the pigs and chickens, and it was neat to see all of the gardens, greenhouses, and hear how they use the space. My oldest loved searching for insects in the garden; all the kids were excited to see one another’s bugs and talking about the things they’d observed. UR does an excellent job integrating fun and learning. After this experience my family will likely become a member! UR is 100% worth our support. Plus, they have a million workshops I want to check out!” – Jamie Schnell
” I have had the pleasure of being part of the Urban Roots Family for about a year. I was searching for a week-long summer camp that welcomed 5-year olds, which is not an easy thing to find. Luckily, I found Urban Roots, and my son enjoyed three weeks of leaning about growing food at home, creating new recipes, and taking care of farm animals. He loved it so much he’s doing it again this year, this time playing lots of outdoor activities and digging in a ton of dirt! So when the opportunity came up to visit again, we of course jumped on it. Not only did my children love seeing the baby piglets scampering about and feeding some very hungry and talkative goats, but they learned about the importance of pollinators and other insects to gardens. This was especially helpful for my younger son who was going through a fear of bugs at the time. Urban Roots really helped him see that bugs are friends, and it’s made out outdoor work far more pleasant. I can’t say enough about how much we love Urban Roots, and we will be supporting them for a long time to come. In fact, I have a new goal: to have Urban Roots help build a school garden at our elementary school. This is a program they offer to all schools in the area, so get on board and lets help teach our children the importance of gardening!” –Lauren Bradfield
“I have to fess up: I didn’t really know what to expect when driving to Urban Roots. I knew there were piglets to see, but that was about it. We arrived about 15 minutes early and were able to get a lay of the land, discovering not only pigs and piglets but goats, chickens and cats. My 3-year old was in absolute heaven, and probably could have watched the animals the entire day. What I really enjoyed about our day at UR was that they incorporated fun with learning seamlessly. Searching for insects under rocks and leaves” was not only fun for my 6-year-old but educational too. The concept is brilliant and I’ve already looked online for more information about their upcoming sessions and camps. What a gem to have in Reno!” – Tracie Barnthouse
Urban Roots offers camps in the summer, fall, winter and spring allowing students to gain hands on experience and knowledge in agriculture, sustainability, healthy eating, and field science. But, they offer more than just camp!
The Urban Roots School Garden program helps schools develop a garden that serves as an outdoor classroom for students, and in response to requests from educators for examples of the lessons used in our camps and year-round programs, Urban Roots is in the process of developing standards-based, hands-on lessons around seasonal foods that can be adapted for grades K-12. Parents who homeschool their children will definitely want to check out Urban Root’s Farm School – a hands-on, garden based education that allows participants follow their meals from farm to fork, investigate weather, and experiment with science inquiry.
To learn more about Urban Roots, visit http://www.urgc.org/. Make time for a visit and share what you’ve learned with school administrators and teachers.