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Teach Kids to Grow Their Own Food | Negros Farmers Weekend Market

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Teach Kids to Grow Their Own Food

One fine Saturday, the Kinder students of Bright Kids Preschool went out of the classroom for real world learning. The mission: to teach kids to grow their own food. And this was held at the Negros Farmers Weekend Market, located at Magsaysay Avenue, Bacolod City.

teach kids to grow their own food - Bright Kids Preschool - field trip - homeschooling - Bacolod preschool - Bacolod blogger - Bacolod mommy blogger - Negros Farmers Weekend Market
The two Kinder classes of Bright Kids Preschool had a hands-on vegetable gardening experience at the Negros Farmers Weekend Market.

A Hands-on Vegetable Gardening Experience

In our modern world, kids can be quite pampered. They are the center of their parents’ world. Everything is almost always given to them, sometimes on a silver platter. How would they know that food is actually grown from the ground and not just taken off the shelf in the supermarket?

teach kids to grow their own food - Bright Kids Preschool - field trip - homeschooling - Bacolod preschool - Bacolod blogger - Bacolod mommy blogger - Negros Farmers Weekend Market - Bacolod City - Negros Occidental
Shane and her classmate Nikki work on their seedling tray.

We teach them. We expose them. And that’s exactly what Teacher Sheryll Ong, Directress of Bright Kids Preschool, did. Last weekend, two Kinder classes went to the Negros Weekend Farmers Market just to experience vegetable gardening.

Teacher Sheryll wanted a follow up activity for Entrepinoy, where the kids learn entrepreneurship by selling. This time, she teamed up with Ms. Ruby Cruz of Negros Farmers Weekend Market who suggested about letting the kids experience growing vegetables before actually selling them.

teach kids to grow their own food - Bright Kids Preschool - field trip - homeschooling - Bacolod preschool - Bacolod blogger - Bacolod mommy blogger - Negros Farmers Weekend Market - Bacolod City - Negros Occidental
Teacher Sheryll and Tito Leo explains the mechanics of the game to the kids.

Ms. Cruz said that trading is only one aspect of entrepreneurship and is actually very easy to do. Instead, she wants the kids to experience the different aspects agriculture. These are to know how to plant, to transplant, to wait for the plants to grow, and to take care of them until harvest.

The Goals of the Activity

When we set out last Saturday, Teacher Sheryll had the following goals in mind:

Instill Appreciation of Agriculture

“Negros is a very blessed province,” Teacher Sheryll says. ” It can be the rice bowl of the whole Philippines.” With that perspective, she wants to be able to raise a generation that values agriculture as a way of doing business and as a way of life.

Learn Good Values

Bright Kids Preschool has been around for 9 years already. They have produced very smart kids who excel in the big school. But this year, Teacher Sheryll aims to strengthen good values in children that they can bring as they grow up.

Awareness of the Environment

The activity is done outdoors so the kids were exposed to the natural environment. Plus, they learned to clean up after themselves and take out their trash. “In an age where kids are digitally wired, we would like to see them develop a love for agriculture and our environment,” Teacher Sheryll adds.

Learn About Collaboration

Collaboration is an important 21st century skill. Teacher Sheryll says that nobody can work alone. It’s always a collaboration among different departments to come up with different innovative products. With that, the kids were made to work in pairs so that they can help each other out.

teach kids to grow their own food - Bright Kids Preschool - field trip - homeschooling - Bacolod preschool - Bacolod blogger - Bacolod mommy blogger - Negros Farmers Weekend Market - Bacolod City - Negros Occidental
The kids learned to collaborate with each other while working with their seedling trays.

Through the activity, the teachers were able to see who among the kids love gardening, who can work well with others, and who can follow instructions.

Learn to Follow Instructions

There is great care in gardening and the kids were given basic instructions. They were asked to fill up the seedling tray with soil, make shallow holes, put in the seeds, and cover them. Then they were to water the seeds and bring them to the shelter. The teachers observed who excelled in following the steps.

Family Bonding

The parents came to bring and accompany their kids to this field trip. But it also became a family bonding activity of sorts because the parents also joined in the game and in helping the kids carry their trays.

teach kids to grow their own food - Bright Kids Preschool - field trip - homeschooling - Bacolod preschool - Bacolod blogger - Bacolod mommy blogger - Negros Farmers Weekend Market - Bacolod City - Negros Occidental
With the help of her Papa, Shane brings their seedling tray to the shed.

A Learning Game

Tito Leo, the agriculturist at the Negros Weekend Farmers Market, first explained about the importance of eating nutritious food. That includes fruits and vegetables.

teach kids to grow their own food - Bright Kids Preschool - field trip - homeschooling - Bacolod preschool - Bacolod blogger - Bacolod mommy blogger - Negros Farmers Weekend Market - Bacolod City - Negros Occidental
Shane brings a cucumber to teacher in order to get a sticker. The vendors were kind enough to lend us their produce.

Then the kids were made to join a passport game. They had to identify and hunt the vegetables from their passports around the market. It was fun plus the kids got some exercise. They had to walk from the function hall to the market and also ran around to pick vegetables. Afterwards, they had to present their picks to the teachers and got a sticker to fill up their passports.

teach kids to grow their own food - Bright Kids Preschool - field trip - homeschooling - Bacolod preschool - Bacolod blogger - Bacolod mommy blogger - Negros Farmers Weekend Market - Bacolod City - Negros Occidental
The kids prepare before the game. These are well-behaved kids. I wonder how the teachers do this?

Actual Planting

Going back to the classroom setup, the kids were paired and and given a seedling tray. The facilitators took out some soil that will be used for planting. The actual soil composition for seedlings is as follows:

  • 1 part sand
  • 2 parts vermicompost
  • 4 parts garden soil
teach kids to grow their own food - Bright Kids Preschool - field trip - homeschooling - Bacolod preschool - Bacolod blogger - Bacolod mommy blogger - Negros Farmers Weekend Market - Bacolod City - Negros Occidental
Arleih and Ethan plant their seeds.

The soil was mixed and the kids were asked to fill up their seedling trays with soil using their hands. Our daughter Shane is not squeamish with soil. She plays in our garden, helps me in weeding, and also collects stones. She was the nearest to the soil pile so she jumped right in. We are not afraid to let her play like this because we believe that exposure to nature makes her stronger and even happier. Plus, her milk NESTOGROW has probiotics to ensure that she has a healthy tummy.

The kids then put a single seed in each hole of the tray. They also watered their trays and moved them to the seedling shelter at the back.

The Outdoors

Negros Farmers Weekend Market is an expansive place. I am not sure how big it is, but you would be surprised at the area and that it’s conveniently located within the city. It is not just a market but more like a park. The place is clean and well-maintained and there is a huge grassy field in the middle. Plus, there are dining provisions so you can bring your family here on weekends and enjoy good food.

teach kids to grow their own food - Bright Kids Preschool - field trip - homeschooling - Bacolod preschool - Bacolod blogger - Bacolod mommy blogger - Negros Farmers Weekend Market - Bacolod City - Negros Occidental
Negros Farmers Weekend Market is located along Magsaysay Avenue, Bacolod City.

Futhermore, the kids got to run around, breathe semi fresh air (semi because we are still in the city), and played under the sunlight. These things are necessary for their happy and healthy growth. We used to have this as kids but with the advent of technology, kids nowadays are most likely cooped indoors playing gadgets. Parenting in the digital age can be quite challenging.

teach kids to grow their own food - Bright Kids Preschool - field trip - homeschooling - Bacolod preschool - Bacolod blogger - Bacolod mommy blogger - Negros Farmers Weekend Market - Bacolod City - Negros Occidental
After gardening, Shane caught a little frog that she brought home and released in our garden.

Successful Activity

The vegetable gardening activity does not end at planting. In December, the Kinder students will have to go back to the Negros Farmers Weekend Market to check on their plants.

teach kids to grow their own food - Bright Kids Preschool - field trip - homeschooling - Bacolod preschool - Bacolod blogger - Bacolod mommy blogger - Negros Farmers Weekend Market - Bacolod City - Negros Occidental
AJ and CeeKeh work on their seedling tray.

I think the activity was a success and all goals were achieved. Mommy Cata Manaloto, mom of AJ said, “Today was all about 🍆🥦🥒🌶🍅🌽🥕🥔🍠 and the best way to grow them… as they help us grow, too! Thank you Bright Kids Preschool for such an interesting and unique way of raising gardening and nutrition awareness among our children.” Aptly said.

teach kids to grow their own food - Bright Kids Preschool - field trip - homeschooling - Bacolod preschool - Bacolod blogger - Bacolod mommy blogger - Negros Farmers Weekend Market - Bacolod City - Negros Occidental
The kids’ seedling trays are now safe under a shed. We will come back and check on them after a month.

Why we need to teach kids to grow their own food

So why do we need to teach kids to grow their own food? They might not all become farmers some day, but there are good reasons why we should educate them about this.

They aim for healthier nutrition.

There is a sense of satisfaction when you see the fruits of the works of your hands. The children will develop a better sense of why naturally grown foods are vital to health. Additionally, they will most likely eat the food that they have grown because they worked hard for it. 

They will eat better tasting food.

While my kids are an exception, it seems that kids do not lean towards the eating of vegetables. But I must admit, sometimes, the fresher the ingredients, the better they taste. If you use fresh ingredients straight from your garden for your homecooking, any vegetable dish will taste so much better. The same also applies to seafood–the fresher they are, the better they taste.

Seafood dishes you might want to try:

They will develop life skills.

Gardening is a skill. Plus, growing vegetables can teach a child values like patience, responsibility, and cooperation (hence, the pairing). They need to be patient in order to wait for the growth and harvest.  Plus, they learn responsibility because they need to make sure that plants are properly taken care of. This is a partnership, so they learn to work together. 

teach kids to grow their own food - Bright Kids Preschool - field trip - homeschooling - Bacolod preschool - Bacolod blogger - Bacolod mommy blogger - Negros Farmers Weekend Market - Bacolod City - Negros Occidental
Joaene, KD, Liam, and Cassie patiently wait for their turns to fill up their trays with the mixed soil.

They get to spend time outdoors.

As I’ve mentioned, kids can easily stay outside and watch TV or play with the tablet. Get them out there to enjoy working and playing. The sunlight and fresh air are good for them (and for us, too).

teach kids to grow their own food - Bright Kids Preschool - field trip - homeschooling - Bacolod preschool - Bacolod blogger - Bacolod mommy blogger - Negros Farmers Weekend Market - Bacolod City - Negros Occidental
The Kinder B class at the vegetable patch soaking in some sunshine.

They will most likely develop good habits.

We hope that by teaching children good habits at a young age, they would most likely carry that on for the rest of their lives. So make it into a family tradition. If you live in the city with limited space, you can opt for container gardening. In the long run, the kids will be healthier and more connected to the environment. This is also a surefire way to beat inflation on the home level.

teach kids to grow their own food - Bright Kids Preschool - field trip - homeschooling - Bacolod preschool - Bacolod blogger - Bacolod mommy blogger - Negros Farmers Weekend Market - Bacolod City - Negros Occidental
With teachers and classmates on the bridge over the fish pond at the Negros Farmers Weekend Market.

Tips for Growing Food with Kids

Do you also want to teach your kids to grow their own food? Here are some suggestions:

Seeding

Kids would love sowing seeds. It gets their hands dirty and they love it (or at least , Shane does). Bigger seeds like peas, beans, and squash would be easier for younger children to handle.

teach kids to grow their own food - Bright Kids Preschool - field trip - homeschooling - Bacolod preschool - Bacolod blogger - Bacolod mommy blogger - Negros Farmers Weekend Market - Bacolod City - Negros Occidental
Finishing touches.

Freedom

Little kids appreciate liberties so give them some autonomy in the garden. You may want to give them a dedicated bed or maybe just part of a bed that they can use. With some guidance on how to properly do it, let them plant what they want there.

Fast Growing Foods

Check out the fruits and veggies that grow fast. Let your kids plant these, as the quick turnout will encourage them to grow more. You may also ask them to measure themselves against the plants each week.

teach kids to grow their own food - Bright Kids Preschool - field trip - homeschooling - Bacolod preschool - Bacolod blogger - Bacolod mommy blogger - Negros Farmers Weekend Market - Bacolod City - Negros Occidental
Watering the seeds.

Food Sampling

Are your kids picky eaters? Encourage them to sample the crops produced in your vegetable patch. Some of the foods that they can consume raw would be carrots, tomatoes, and strawberries. Aside from being nutritious, eating foods like this will help them develop their palate.

teach kids to grow their own food - Bright Kids Preschool - field trip - homeschooling - Bacolod preschool - Bacolod blogger - Bacolod mommy blogger - Negros Farmers Weekend Market - Bacolod City - Negros Occidental
One of Shane’s favorite dishes is laswa, a simple Ilonggo vegetable soup. She is always happy when this is prepared at home. But she has yet to learn to eat raw vegtables.

The Messier, the Better

Kids love the messiest job so give it to them. Let them dig, sow seeds, and water the plants. It would be just like play for them but it teaches them responsibility.

Enjoy vegetable gardening and growing your own food! We will soon do this, too, but only with containers. 🙂

Contact Information

Negros Farmers Weekend Market

Magsaysay Avenue, Bacolod City (beside Luxur Hotel)
Open on Saturdays and Sundays only for breakfast and lunch
Find Negros Farmers Weekend Market on the map

Bright Kids Preschool – 10th Lacson Street, Bacolod City

Tel. No. (034) 433 4713

Bright Kids Preschool Lucasan – Villa Lucasan, Bacolod City

FB page: BrightKidsPreschool

Website: http://brightkids.com.ph/


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21 thoughts on “Teach Kids to Grow Their Own Food | Negros Farmers Weekend Market

  1. I love this! I would love a bigger garden so that I could grow more stuff. At the minute we have bushes (raspberry, black currant, blackberry etc) but I would love a proper veg patch and greenhouse and some fruit trees…..I’m not asking for much, am I? 😀

  2. I absolutely love this, and think it is such a wonderful initiative! If I have kids, I would love for them to take part in something like this.

  3. That’s such a great idea to teach kids how to grow their own food! They will become more aware of the fact that it’s not easy to grow the things which are served on their plates and that it demands lots of hard work to produce food. 🙂

  4. This is a great initiative. Teaching kids how to grow their own food at such an early age. I can only imagine how responsible they will be as grown ups.

  5. I love this so much! I cannot wait to teach my daughter to garden. I plan to start working with her this spring when it starts getting warmer. She is only 2, but I don’t think it is too early to start teaching her the value of hard work and effort.

  6. I think teaching kids to grow their own food and nurture what they put in their bodies is amazing. Our local school actually has, what they call, an edible classroom.

    1. Ohhhh I like that idea of an “edible classroom”. Will look more into this so that I can suggest it to the teacher and maybe we can also do it at home. 🙂

  7. What a fun field trip! We have had a garden at home and my daughter loved it! You’re right it does give you a sense of pride as you eat not to mention how much better they taste from your own garden!

  8. kudos! Children need to be made aware of the importance of nature, good food, and healthy living. This is one great activity and I hope there are more Teacher Sheryll and Tito Leos in the world.

  9. This is such a beautiful way for kids to learn how to grow their own. I am an adult and I want to grow my own food to so learning young will give them a lifetime of knowledge of a green thumb.

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