Friday, June 3, 2011

New City Public Schools Farm in Long Beach celebrates urban agriculture and education at Farm Festival this Saturday

Saturday June 4, 2011, New City Public Schools Farm in Long Beach presents their Inaugural Farm Festival and fundraiser this Saturday, June 4, 2011 starting at noon.

Just one year ago, on June 10, 2010, was the first New City Schools Farm Build Day. Volunteers from throughout the city, including Mayor Bob Foster and 1st District Councilman Robert Garcia, came to help build an urban farm on a quarter-acre lot in the heart of the city at 15th Street and Long Beach Boulevard. This location is within walking distance of both campuses of the progressive New City Public Schools charter school. This also appears to be part of the same location where the former Long Beach Ostrich Farm was located circa 1907-1910.

Kathleen Irvine is the energetic Farm Manager who understands the challenges of gardening with children and has used her insight to create the kid-friendly farm that the site has become. For example, the planting beds are narrower than usual to allow the children’s short arms to reach what is being planted and later harvested. In addition, to minimize hurt feelings, no one is allowed to eat a crop unless there is enough for every student.

The garden is visited by two to three classes of students three days a week. Fridays are also busy with field trips. It serves as a living laboratory where the students learn all about plants, what is necessary to keep them alive and to make them thrive, and where their food comes from. Kathleen said that prior to this opportunity to grow an urban farm, some of her students mistook a yellow squash (still on the plant) for a banana. Now they know better.

School gardens and farms can make a big difference in our kids’ appreciation of nature, their understanding of where real food comes from, and their present and future healthy diet and lifestyle decision.

Come celebrate the success of this urban school farm this Saturday beginning at noon. Entertainment will include music, dancing, a drum circle, crafts, and face painting. Green vendors and information booths will also be available for you to enjoy.

Be sure to return to this article to view the slideshow of the event.

New City Public Schools Farm Fundraiser
Date: 06/04/2011
Time: 12:00 - 4:00 P.M.
Location: 225 East 15th St., Long Beach, CA  90813
Contact: Kathleen Irvine, Farm Manager (818) 470-0005

More Information

Long Beach School Gardens & Farms, Long Beach Grows website

New City Public Schools website

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You might also be interested in Donna’s other work as Long Beach Urban Agriculture Examiner, Long Beach Restaurant Examiner, National Food Policy Examiner, National Science News Examiner, and founder and director of Long Beach Grows.

Copyright © 2011 Donna Marykwas; All rights reserved.

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