Experiences we have as young children and the memories we gain from them last forever. Experiences that improve children’s physical and thinking skills are important. However, teaching children about nutrition from a young age will have a large impact on their lifestyle when they get older. Experiences on the farm will not only become great memories but are a great way for children to learn about nutrition and the food that we eat. In this article, we will discuss how these experiences affect children as well as introduce some popular agriculture experiences and the best season to experience them.
●It is a fun way to learn about food and nature
Farming experiences allow children to have fun playing with soil while learning about nature and where our food comes from. For children who live in big cities, this experience with nature is very important. Fruits and vegetables grow like crazy in the Summer and Fall. When children see how much a fruit or vegetable has grown within a few days or even a week they will be really surprised. When learning about nutrition, it is important that it is fun. When children see that growing fruits and vegetables is fun and full of surprises they are more likely to try new fruits and vegetables when they appear on their plate.
●A farming experience is a great hands-on way to learn about nutrition
By participating in the farming process, children learn that our food is created thanks to the hard work of the farmer and manufacturer. Nowadays, many vegetables are sold in packages at the grocery store. It is funny but many children think that food is created already cut up and in packages. Therefore, it is important for children to experience farming hands-on and learn that this is not how fruits and vegetables grow.
Rice planting, planting the small trees and harvesting, is a lot more labor intensive than most fruits and vegetables. Therefore, many farming experiences only focus on one part of the process and one day farming events are popular. Rice planting usually takes place in May and June and harvesting takes place in September. In places like Ibaraki Prefecture and Shiga Prefecture, rice planting events for more than 100 people are often offered during the rice planting season. Some events include workshops on rice and during the off-season they even offer mochi-making and other cultural workshops.
●Cultivating Seasonal Vegetables
Events where children grow their own seasonal vegetables are perfect experiences for summer vacation. Farms in Chiba Prefecture and Saitama Prefecture (and other farms in the Tokyo Metropolitan Area) hold events on a regular basis. The events are also often held in Nerima ward and Hino City, the suburbs of Tokyo. Between January and September, tomato and corn planting and harvesting events are held. During the winter season, root vegetables and leafy vegetables are cultivated. Please research which farms near you hold events. The more children experience the better. Trying a variety of new things during early childhood is a great way for children to discover their likes and strengths. Please participate in as many agriculture events as you can with your children while they are young and help them learn about nature and where our food comes from.