Maitland’s fresh food revolution is giving high school students a practical approach to their geography studies.
The NSW syllabus has a renewed focus on food security – and where food comes from, so Charlton Christian College year 9 students stepped away from the text book at their Fassifern classrooms and into the city’s Slow Food Earth Market for some wisdom last week.
The 43 students spent about an hour at the market. They broke into groups and chatted with several producers and learnt about seasonal fruit and vegetable as well as bread and honey production.
Read more:Our fresh food revolution in detail
They compiled the details on a worksheet and used interview skills to ask questions and collect the information.
“We asked questions and got answers about how produce is grown – where and when it is grown, and why it is grown. We are studying biodiversity and food security in geography at the moment, so that’s why we came here. We went to Purple Pear Farm this morning as well to learn more.”student Brandon Johnson said.
It didn’t take long for Brandon to pick up on the market’s sense of community.
He said the farmers were an integral part of the food chain and their presence at the twice-monthly market was bringing people together.
“It grows the community and everybody can get to know each other,” he said.
Read more:Earth Market is teaching kids
Jesse Ilett said the market offered a very different feel to the fresh produce section at major supermarkets.
“It’s not as overwhelming as being in the supermarket, you don’t have food left, right and centre – you instead have certain things that you can choose from,”Jesse Ilett said.
This is the second time the school has brought its geography students to the market.
The school brought a group for the first time last year.
The teachers could see the benefits of giving them a firsthand glimpse into food production, so they jumped at the chance to bring another group.
Isaac Carnell said he learnt how the market had offered producers a niche opportunity to sell their food in the local area instead of being forced to truck it to major cities like Sydney.
“It’s pretty good because if the farmers get rejected by the big supermarkets they can bring all their produce here,” he said.