- Somers Central School District
Farm-To-Table Field Trip Brings SHS Science of Food Class to Life
“For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.”
This famous quote by Aristotle rings true for the high school students in Lori Kearns and Sarah Palicio’s Food Science classes who had the ultimate learning-by-doing field trip at Hilltop Hanover Farm in Yorktown Heights.
The farm-to-table experience began with a farm tour by Education Program Manager Jo Moore, who helped organize the event. Students then harvested vegetables, cleared the land of crops that were finished for the season and brought the vegetables back up to the farm stand for weighing. They also helped prepare the vegetables for winter storage as well as help separate them for inclusion in the farm’s donation program.
“Going out into the fields and harvesting crops by hand gives an interesting perspective on how much care and effort goes into farms and agriculture,” said student Sean Kim. “It was fun to learn about crop management and how basic vegetables are harvested annually.”
Students then prepared lunch from the bounty they harvested themselves - spaghetti squash, kale salad and salad dressing along with peppers with a dipping sauce.
After eating, students were able to ask questions and hear from Hilltop Hanover Farm Manager Ice Lekometros and farm field crew member Brianna Rodriguez, a Somers High School graduate. The students finished their day by washing their dishes and cleaning the kitchen.
Amanda Randazzo said the visit to Hanover Hilltop has changed the way she looks at her own eating habits. “What I eat on a daily basis is mostly preserved foods,” she said. “This experience made me realize that vegetables and fresh foods are much healthier and better for my wellbeing.”
For Chloe Imhof, preparing the food they had harvested for themselves was the best part of the experience. “It was completely hands-on and seeing the entire process of gathering the food and then preparing and eating it was really fascinating,” she said.
The Science of Food is a new science elective for grades 10 -12 at Somers High School. The field trip to Hanover Hilltop Farm combines many aspects of the Science of Food curriculum including Nutrition and Food Equity, Agriculture and the Chemistry of Food.
“This is the first time we have done this trip and the students have made a lot of connections from our classroom content to their experience on the farm,” Kearns said. “It has been a wonderful experience.”