For the 5th year running, Illinois Stewardship Alliance assisted in organizing a “Kids Day at the Farm”. A group of 45 kids in grades 6 through 9 who are involved in a Springfield Urban League summer program visited Garrick Veenstra’s organic produce farm in Rochester, IL on July 25. They were able to learn about what’s grown in Illinois, harvest onions, see how the produce is processed before going to market, and find out what it’s like to raise chickens.
They enjoyed a farm fresh snack of local tomato salsa and fresh watermelon, and were able to top the trip off by shopping at the on-farm market (thanks to Slow Food Springfield for providing vouchers for the kids to shop!). They picked out onions, zucchini, summer squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, swiss chard, fresh basil, garlic and more.
“This was one of the kids’ favorite trips. They had a blast! The kids said they made salsa, zucchini bread, stir fry, and some just ate theirs raw here at camp before they went home,” Michelle Grenko, the kids chaperone for the day, said.
Thanks to hosts Garrick Veenstra and his family, and Andy Heck. Organizers of the event included Slow Food Springfield, University of Illinois Extension and Illinois Stewardship Alliance.