Charitable Words Scholars Study, Share Lessons On Green Growing, Healthy Food

9 months, 2 weeks ago Comments Off
Posted in: Building Bridges

2013-06-19_1455With assignments at Gorman Heritage Farm’s Summer Farm Camp, Charitable Words Scholars moves into new territory with high school and pre-college service learning internships.

We think we’ve found two winning students and a wonderful program to blaze the trail. Daniel Funk and Katelyn Berry will be working as counselors with 350 campers ages 4-18 to explore sustainable, green growing, gardening, hiking, crafts and more.

Daniel Funk will be a junior next year at Moeller High School. He has been with Gorman Heritage Farm’s summer camp program for four years as a Counselor in Training. Besides working at the camp, Daniel said he has been working with young children a lot. Most recently, on a sophomore service learning project in Appalachia. “ We worked with many kids, and it was an experience I will never forget, “ Daniel said. “I am very excited once again to be a part of summer camp, and taking the next step in a leadership role. I am looking forward to having fun with each kid while educating them at the same time.”

Katelyn Berry graduated this year from Cincinnati’s Hughes Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) High School. This is her second summer as junior camp counselor. A sign of her commitment to the camp: Katelyn takes the bus and bike to camp each morning. “Working with kids is something I find really entertaining and I learn a lot from them,” she said. “I believe that this summer will be the most fun yet before I start college this fall at Cincinnati State. I’m really looking forward to a brand new summer with new and returning campers.”

Gorman Heritage Farm, located 20 minutes from downtown Cincinnati on Reading Road in Evendale, is right down the road from my home. And near to my heart.

If I may editorialize a bit: We need to take an interest in what we eat and where it comes from. We need to teach children well about healthy, sustainable agriculture. Our genetically altered, corn-based dietary habits threaten the health of a generation of kids who think milk comes from a grocery store and are assaulted with messages glorifying fast food, sugary treats and super-sized meals.

Gorman Heritage Farm is a place that is doing its small, important part in the world to help kids understand what growing – and eating — should be about. The 122-acre working farm and outdoor education center invites visitors to explore and learn the history, methods and values of a working family farm in a natural setting.

The farm consists of 30 tillable acres, a farmyard with a variety of animals, a garden, 40 acres of wooded hillside, and a natural pond. Gorman Heritage Farm hosts visits from members, casual visitors, school groups and many others during the course of the year. The paid staff includes both farming and administrative professionals, supported by a strong cadre of volunteers.

That’s where Daniel and Katelyn come in. The work they will be doing is important, to them and the children they guide as counselers.

Gorman.horse“When a child’s response to being asked if they have been on a farm is ‘I have been on a farm, in cyberspace,’ and that is their only experience with farming and knowing where food comes from, we should start to wonder what will our children’s future look like,” Program Director Jamie Stoneham said. “We created Summer Farm Camp to help create a new future where we foster a connection to the land and help create educated eaters. The farm was developed in 1835 by the Brown Family and was acquired through marriage by the Gormans. Instead of selling their land to developers as they neared retirement, the siblings, Jim and Dorothy, turned their beloved farm over to the Cincinnati Nature Center, Stoneham said. The farm was transformed from a family farm to the outdoor education center as it was passed to the Village of Evendale and supported by the Gorman Heritage Farm Foundation.

“As an educational working farm, we strive to “give people the opportunity to explore and learn the history, methods and values of a working family farm in a natural setting,” Stoneham said. “We grow produce for educational programs and sale using organic and sustainable practices, and our animals are raised antibiotic­-free and hormone­-free. We try to instill in our visitors and customers the importance of preserving our environment for later generations.”

We’re privileged and proud that Daniel and Katelyn will be on the job this summer to help spread the word, Charitable Words.

Photos by Charitable Words Scholar Neal Patrick, a University of Cincinnati senior on assignment with Social Venture Partners Cincinnati.

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