Lakefield College School is thrilled to offer From Seed to Table: Adventures in Eco-Farming as a part of our 2022 Summer Academy and Programs. First offered in 2021, this course has since been highly touted by our students for its unique structure and variety of learning experiences.
“I really like how this course includes different activities like field trips, cooking and donating to food banks and farming, instead of always studying in the classrooms. All those activities allow me to learn knowledge through real experiences and it is so meaningful to do. I learned so much during these experiences and have contact with people included in the community food system and I think it’s so fun and precious to have these experiences.” – From Seed to Table Student, Summer 2021
From Seed to Table: Adventures in Eco-Farming provides high school students with the opportunity to learn about food production and eco-farming through hands-on adventures at our school garden. Students will plant, nurture, and harvest greens, root vegetables, and more, learning first-hand about the business of running a farm, the value of sustainability, and the joy of preparing and consuming food that they have grown.
Today, we introduce you to our From Seed to Table course instructor, Allyson Brown.
Tell us about your background as an eco-farming teacher.
“I have been an outdoor, environmental education and geography teacher for more than a decade, as well as coordinated volunteer experiences for students throughout that time. I have a Masters in Sustainability Studies from Trent University, studying the role of integrated environmental and outdoor education programs in increasing students’ knowledge about natural systems and providing them with the tools to become empowered citizens and environmental stewards. In addition to my love of the outdoors, I am also passionate about food. I enjoy tending to our backyard vegetable gardens and fruit trees, frequenting farmers’ markets, and creating meals using locally sourced ingredients. I have recently completed a Culinary Arts Certificate through George Brown College, and share my love of cooking through a dedicated Instagram account called Casavitally.”
What is your favourite part about teaching From Seed to Table: Adventures in Eco-Farming?
“The Seed to Table course is really an intersection of my passions. It is such an experiential course grounded in learning about food systems, something that deeply impacts our lives on a daily basis. It is inspiring to be able to observe students engage in a topic that is so important, yet largely overlooked. Students coming up to me months after taking the course and sharing how it has impacted their lives are the most rewarding conversations you can have as a teacher.”
Who is this program for?
“This program is for everyone. Whether you’ve never stepped foot on a farm, you’ve grown up around them, you want to be a farmer in the future, or you just want to be able to make informed choices about the food you eat, everyone benefits from understanding more about the food we consume. Projects are designed so that students can hone in on their passions and explore topics they care about, creating an engaging opportunity for all of us to learn from one another.”
What will I learn in From Seed to Table?
“The goal of this course really is to connect students to the interconnected nature of food systems and the health of our planet. Students will explore the science behind growing food, the skills involved in preparing it, as well as the concepts of food security and food sovereignty. Through firsthand experiences on the farm, learning from local experts, as well as exploring the foundations of food systems, students will come away with a deeper understanding of how food arrives on their plates, and the role they can play in making sustainable choices, quite literally from seed to table.”
“I feel like an amazing part of the course was the weekly cooking session, it felt amazing to actually create something out of what I worked towards on the farm.” – From Seed to Table Student, Summer 2021
What kinds of experiences will students gain from taking this program?
“Students will have an opportunity to get their hands dirty on the school farm and dive into problem-based learning in the classroom. They will learn basic cooking skills in order to transform their harvest into delicious meals that we will get to enjoy as well as share with the local community. Students will also learn from experts in our community through field trips to local farmers’ markets, farms, businesses that support the local food system and the land that supports Indigenous food sovereignty.”