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Notes from the Field Classroom: First Overnight of the Season, Moreau Catholic High School

28 April

You’d be surprised how loud a flock of 100 chickens is. The noise isn’t the only thing you notice. It’s the smell, the commotion and organized chaos. Then you taste the eggs and realize it’s all worthwhile.

Gathering the eggs.

Gathering the eggs.

A group of 12 students from Moreau Catholic High School in Hayward spent 3 days with us last week and they got to experience the farm in a way that you can only get from staying overnight. They had conventional eggs the first morning and our organic pasture raised eggs the second and it was no contest. These students absorbed everything the could about the farm and its role in the community. They learned about the food system and their role in it as consumers. They also focused on the social justice aspects of food, farm labor, chemicals, and conventional vs. local sustainable. “It’s really cool to see all the different parts and how it all works together,” observed one. After a hike through the redwood groves that are part of the ‘Wild Farm’ one commented, “It’s like a national park and then you walk out into an apple orchard. Cool!” They got to harvest and eat food right out of the fields and garden. They were especially excited about the large and juicy Albion strawberries. They had some with every meal.

Overnights are hard work for everyone, but I think they are an extremely effective way to connect directly to nature and food. High school aged students are at an age where they can really put two and two together and come to a meaningful understanding of the big issues that face us now and in the near future. These students are already thinking of ways to help the food system become more sustainable and just.

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