We will be glad to try and work with you in scheduling a field trip for the kids. We have had school tours for pre-school groups on up to middle school age groups. If you think your children would enjoy and benefit from a trip to a working farm then let's see what we can work out. If you have never been on one of our field trips then let me give you a run down of the event.
When the activity bus arrives on the farm, we will ask you to please park up by the house in the grassy area. This is by the entrance to the farm. At this point we advise you to keep all of the children on or at the bus. We are all aware that a school group is supposed to arrive and will be anxiously awaiting the bus!!! If you would like, you may send an adult down to collect the containers to begin labeling up for the children. I understand the children are anxious - but under no circumstance should the entire group walk to the barn (aluminum building where the folks are checking out). Once you arrive and see the number of folks driving in and out you will understand. We do not want any child hurt .
We have two locations on which we pick - one location is within walking distance and the second requires that we shuttle the kids on something resembling a hay ride. We can not predict on any given day which patch we will be working in so please do not promise the children a 'hay ride.' We will keep the children together in their group.
Once we arrive at the patch then the fun begins. We have children of our own and I enjoy any opportunity to share a little knowledge with the kids. So many children have no idea how much fun you can have on a farm, so we want them to learn all about farming - after all they are our advocates for the future. We will talk with the children about various aspects of raising and picking the strawberries based on their age. I also love to entertain any questions the children have so encourage them to ask away. We will also have stickers and an educational coloring book. The coloring book will be an additional charge based on the cost to us. Some teachers looked the book over last year and thought it would be a great addition - mostly for 2nd grade and under.
How can the teachers make this an enjoyable venture for the kids' Once our little chat is over and the kids have been given some basic rules of the field then they will be assigned to rows and given individual baskets with their names on them to pick in. It works best with the younger children if an adult supervises each group to help ensure that the children go home with the best strawberries in the field. Once the children have completed their basket of strawberries then we ask that they have a seat in a safe location and await the 'hay ride' or the rest of the group. Many of the adults want to pick strawberries for themselves - if you choose for the children to assist you then that will be fine.
If you adult chaperons would like to pick your own strawberries, we might suggest a small snack for the children that could be had at the edge of the field. This might help keep them from getting too restless while the adults fill their baskets.
For the safety of the children, please do not allow them to run about the edge of the field or through the parking area. We make ever attempt to ensure the safety of all our customers both large and small. We worry the most about the small ones since this is a working farm.
There are some safety rules that you might want to review with the children prior to their arrival:
1) Please do not run in or around the patch - we don't like skinned knees.
2) Don't pick it if you don't want to carry it home.
3) Stay on your assigned row and do not step up into the strawberry bed.
4) Do not eat the strawberries in the patch. Although we do not spray our strawberries during picking season - some children can get carried away on what they eat and go home with the hives or a stomach ache.
Educational Links (to be added)