Education

Education is central to Rio Grande Community Farm’s mission. RGCF offers educational farm tours, gardening workshops, and service learning opportunities to educate people of all ages about sustainable, organic farming and gardening methods.  Hundreds of people participate in these programs every year.

Summer Farm Camp

Kids in the Community Garden

Our five-day Summer FARM CAMP offers environmental literacy experiences through the exploration of a variety of habitats; by growing, harvesting, preparing and eating organic fruits and vegetables, and through nature based art, using child-centered, fun activities. Each day children will take part in farm chores, making compost, cooking, and eating from the farm. They will then use art, journaling, and team-building activities to express and enhance their experience.

The Rio Grande Community Farm offers parents and children four choices of farm camps. Each session has an overall theme, and a significant portion of each day’s activities center around that theme. Each day begins at 9:00 am with a whole-group “Morning Message.” “Morning Message” is the time when campers meet with the instructors to have a turn with the talking stick, assemble a healthy snack, and find out what the day has is store. From 9:30 am to 10:30 am, campers will work in the vegetable fields or greenhouse planting, cultivating, and harvesting vegetables. At 10:30 am, campers will return to our “home base” for a light snack and water and to learn a new song. From 11:00 am to 12:00 pm, campers will get creative during arts and crafts hour. At noon, campers will enjoy their lunch and a short story. Afternoon activities include 1.5 hours of “theme-specific” activity and one hour of games and fun. Camp will be dismissed promptly at 3:00 pm.

2013 Summer Farm Camp offerings include:

Pizza Camp, June 3 – 7

In addition to daily farm and garden fun, arts and crafts, and team building activities, campers will spend part of their day grinding wheat for dough, making cheese from milk, and crushing tomatoes for sauce, making an ingredient for pizza every day. On Friday afternoon, family and friends are invited to join us for a pizza party!

Lotions and Potions Camp, June 10 – 14

In addition to daily farm and garden fun, arts and crafts, and team building activities, campers will spend part of their day learning to create homemade soaps, lotions, lip balm, and herbal medicines using herbs har­vested from the farm. Campers will wrap their products in homemade paper they make from farm vegetables.

Cooking Camp, June 17 – 21

In addition to daily farm and garden fun, arts and crafts, and team building activities, campers will spend part of their day making homemade bread, pickled beets, jams, and cheese! Campers will learn how to preserve foods from produce they harvest on the farm. On Friday afternoon, campers will run a market stand to sell their homemade products to their family and friends and the proceeds will go to charity.

Wilderness Camp, June 24 – 28

In addition to daily farm and garden fun, arts and crafts, and team building activities, campers will spend part of their day on adventures that explore the ecology of the garden, farm fields, Bosque trail, and the Rio Grande. Campers will learn about the birds, insects, and coyotes that call Rio Grande Community Farm “home”.

Each 5-day camp session is $250.  Sibling and multi-session discounts are available – please see registration form for details.  We also offer a limited number of need-based full and partial scholarships for children that qualify for free or reduced price lunch at their school.  Please contact the Education Director for more information about how to receive a need-based scholarship.  Camps are open to children ages 5-11; children must be 5 years of age by June 1 to attend camp.

We also offer a Junior Counselor program at Summer Farm Camp!  The Junior Counselor program costs $250 per child, and includes Red Cross CPR and First Aid training.  If you have a child aged 12-16 who is interested in assisting the Senior Counselors with daily Farm Camp activities, please contact the Education Director for more information.

Download the Registration PacketCamp Flyer or Counselor Flyer.

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A small group of high school students

Farm Tours

Educational farm tours are available for students in Kindergarten through eighth grade. We offer a fun standards-based, hands-on, 2-hour farm tour for school children on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10 am and 12:30 pm (by appointment only). This farm tour covers an ever-changing variety of topics that may include soil composition, compost and worms, and health and nutrition. We suggest scheduling our signature farm tour in the fall, then visiting again in the spring for a customized farm visit based on your students’ interests. Plan to spend additional time after your farm tour – perhaps with a picnic lunch under the massive Cottonwood trees, soaking up the sights and sounds of nature at the Farm. The cost of a 2-hour educational farm tour is $4 per student or accompanying adult. Minimum group size is 10. Limit 30 per group. There is no cost for teachers. Please email education@riograndefarm.org if you have any questions.

NOTE: For the 2013 season, RGCF is not scheduling farm tours. Check back in 2014 for updates.

Garden Workshops

RGCF offers a variety of gardening workshops that are open to the public. Recent workshops included permaculture and seed saving topics. Please check our home page frequently for information about upcoming workshops. If you would like us to develop a custom workshop for you or a group of people, please email us at education@riograndefarm.org – we are happy to introduce you to a new gardening topic or expand on one you’re already working with. There is a wealth of knowledge here at the Farm and we love to share it with the community!

Service Learning

We offer a limited number of service-learning opportunities at the RGCF. If you are attending an accredited school, and would like to participate in a semester of service learning at the Farm, please email us at education@riograndefarm.org for more information. Unfortunately, at this time we are unable to offer internships or WWOOF opportunities at the Rio Grande Community Farm.