We help local schools build gardens. The school gardens provide hands-on opportunities for children to grow food and learn about sciences. Many of the gardens also turn into community centers for families to spend free time in.
Farmer Frog is developing a curriculum that we call “SOIL to STEM”: Social Outreach Innovative Learning (SOIL) leading to Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM). SOIL to STEM is a project-based, hands-on learning system rooted in agriculture that helps children succeed in the 21st Century.
In addition to working with K through 12 educators, Farmer Frog also works with programs that offer Career and Technical Education. We train other professionals as well, including urban farmer educators, community organizers, and project managers to successfully create, maintain, and run school gardens and urban community farms.
Most children suffer from Nature Deficit Disorder, now labeled by healthcare professionals as NDD. People no longer know where their food comes from, how humans are part of nature and what fun and joy nature brings to us, if we choose to interact with it. Children also struggle often to understand how science really works. When they can apply their understanding of scientific facts or artistic practices in real life as a hands-on activity, they are able to comprehend complex, hard-to-understand subjects easily.
The average age of the American farmer is rising steadily, so we must train the next generation of farmers and we must create an understanding of the importance and appreciation for farming in everyone. Otherwise we simply will not eat. Farmer Frog’s goal is to teach all subjects to people (children and adults alike) through farming that is sustainable, and is interdisciplinary by nature.
An interdisciplinary curriculum addresses the problems of “isolation, silos and missed opportunities” in education that Dr. Ellen Ebert—Science Director in the Teaching and Learning Program of Washington State’s Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction—warns about in her 2014 presentation, “Environment and Sustainability Education in the 21st Century." We bring a willing partner, our organization, to the table for each community, school, teacher, and student we work with.
We run a community-focused camp where chaperones and campers alike are invited to contribute stories, games, songs, art, and more to make Farmer Frog Camp a unique and memorable experience. Join us for multiple weeks for unique experiences while forming favorite traditions and routines that encourage you to call this place home. Summer camp is full of enlivened play and learning at Farmer Frog. Through games, creative play, and storytelling, we'll connect with the plants and animals that share this land. We'll hone our senses, practice plant identification skills, animal tracking, stewardship, and even snack on farm foods along the way.
Campers will play games, sing songs, harvest and perform farm tasks, make art, and enjoy time for guided exploration. A hearty snack will be included each day, but we ask that you pack a lunch for your child.
We start with free choice activities each morning while campers sign in. Next, we will start our days with an opening circle, followed by games or a hike and sit spot. We’ll stop for lunch, then spend some time doing crafts, harvesting, or an investigation before our closing circle each day.
Possible activity stations include:
Farmer Frog offers externships for teachers who want to earn STEM clock hours. As they work with our families and urban farmer educators, they experience Farmer Frog’s SOIL to STEM model and see how school gardens can be integrated into an individual school’s curriculum to teach Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEM/STEAM). Farmer Frog is an approved provider of continuing education clock hours for teachers in Washington state. Please contact us for details or check the calendar for upcoming opportunities to earn clock hours.