Added Value works with New York City schools to provide hands-on farm-based learning to over 1200 students each year. With the Red Hook Community Farm as a classroom, children roll up their sleeves and learn firsthand about plants, animals, and life-cycles. Added Value works in long-term partnership with our neighborhood schools, and also offers one-time Farm Field Trips to schools from around New York City.
During this 26-week program, first graders at Red Hook’s PS 15 participate in weekly farm-based lessons, coupled with weekly cooking lessons. By taking part in farm activities, the students develop a working knowledge of plant biology, plant cycles, and a farmer’s work to grow food. Not to mention, an excitement for fruits and vegetables!
Over the course of three seasons, PS 15 students work cooperatively to prepare a farm bed, sow seeds and harvest lettuce. They observe plants and foods using their senses and develop a vocabulary base to discuss and write about their observations. Additionally, they perform scientific experiments to discover the functions of a plant. Classroom teachers frequently use the lessons as a springboard to teaching other subject areas such as reading, writing, science and social studies.
Each spring, first- and second-grade students from PS 27 and the Brooklyn New School participate in this 10-week program, sowing seeds in April, harvesting and eating a salad in June, and learning about plants, food, and farm life cycles along the way. Weekly lessons are tied closely to the schools’ curricula, and teachers build on Farm-based activities in the classroom. With each visit to the Farm, children participate in hands-on investigative learning, observational activities, and farm work to care for their plants.
Farm Field Trips
We offer one-time, fee-for-service visits for elementary school groups. The Red Hook Community Farm is an ideal place to learn about life cycles, sequencing, community interdependence, living creatures, and where our food comes from, as well as a place to build skills. Cooperation, observation, writing/drawing, and inquiry-based learning are all part of a day on the farm. Children who visit leave feeling proud of their work, and excited about the new things they have tried: tasting a radish for the first time, digging in soil, pulling a weed out of the ground. If you are interested in bringing your class to the farm, please use the form on our Contact Us page.
Middle and High School
Added Value offers service-learning visits to Middle and High School groups. Students explore the Farm and participate in farm work, while learning about the social, economic, and environmental issues related to urban agriculture. If you are interested in a service-learning visit to the Farm, please use the form on our Contact Us page, and please be sure to indicate if you are interested in a daytime or after-school visit.