Google+ Followers

Friday, 14 July 2017

Understanding the Food we Eat

On Wednesday I had the opportunity again to join in an event designed to help bring children closer to the food they eat. This is a biennial event for key stage 2 children to learn more of the process of plough to plate. Over 80 classes of children are brought out from their schools in Bristol and North Somerset to the North Somerset showground which is set up for the day as a hands on educational farm. Each class is led by a volunteer steward around the various events. This is the third time that I have taken on this role.
My class this time came from Weston Super Mare and our first visit was to the mocked up farm with real farm animals for the children to see and touch. It included a demonstration of milking by a farmer who certainly missed his vocation as a comedian!


Always one of the great attractions are the newly hatched chicks in the chicken and egg workshop.


A talk from a real butcher with real meat carcasses is something that goes down well with nearly all the children. Only a few are too squeamish to sit through it.


Another great favourite is the sheep show where dancing sheep entertain large numbers of the children.


The day totally covers all aspects of farming from the ploughing of the ground to the moment the food reaches their plate. This year there were demonstrations of ploughing from horse drawn to mechanically drawn.


It is a tiring day for all the youngsters with a lot of walking and a lot to do. I think there is no doubt that many of the children get a great deal from it. One child last time actually froze when he went to step off the bus because he had never been in a field. There are opportunities for children to brush and groom dogs, touch meat, feel wool make bread. The list is almost endless.
All the volunteers are equally exhausted at the end of the day. I for one was glad to get home and put my feet up! 






6 comments:

  1. Very interesting & what a great idea. I think most people are so removed from the source of their food, their clothes & all the gadgets they buy. I don't think I would have even tried to partake in the butchers demo. I just learnt from our local (& media active) dairy farmer, that they feed each of their dairy cows a magnet which stays in their secondary digestive tract,reticulum, to catch any loose metal bits in their feed so it won't puncture their heart or stomachs - WOW.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can appreciate that the butcher workshop could be a bit much for the vegetarian! Those with cultural issues didn't have to do this one!

      Delete
  2. It is a fabulous idea! One year I shared a story with my third grade class about my grandfather who raised chickens. Every Saturday, he would slaughter one of the chickens, and we helped my grandmother pluck the feathers. On Sunday we had chicken dinner. The third graders were aghast! They had no idea that the chicken in the grocery store and the chicken on the farm were related. I was sure I'd get some parent phone calls, but I didn't.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great story. Yes children are very removed from their food production.

      Delete
  3. There is something similar here in Kent, I used to go with my Year 3 class and they loved it, however it was amazing how many of them didn't realise the cute piglets ended up as sausages! The dancing sheep show was always their highlight, I hope Nobby the Dancing Sheep is still the star - although it must be great grandson of Nobby by now!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nobby was there or son of son of Nobby! I expect the same jokes are still dealt out too some of them rather close to the mark!

      Delete