Farm Day fun at West Pictou

Amy MacKenzie
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Bob Parker from West River Greenhouses lets students at West Pictou Consolidated get their hands dirty by touching the fertilizer and soil they use for their plants.

LYONS BROOK - Students at West Pictou Consolidated had the chance to put their hands in soil, eat some frozen blueberries and see how honey is harvested as part of a "farmer's market" afternoon on Friday at the school.

Every twelve minutes the students from Primary through Grade 5 would move to a different Farmer's presentation where they would learn about how local farmers make and harvest food.

West River Green houses had the students touch fertilizer and taught them about how they use "good bugs to get rid of bad bugs."

Grade four student Xander Rorison wore his bee-suit as part of his family's honey farm's presentation.

"It helps protect you so if you were ever to get stung it wouldn't hurt you," he explained while wearing the suit. "If you smoke them too much the bees will try to sting you. So you wear this suit and you have gloves."

Rorison said he thought it was a great way for students to spend an afternoon.

"I think this is pretty cool to see all these people here doing this. It gives everybody a chance to learn about different types of food," he said.

Lisa Bungay, a grade two teacher at the school, said the day was meant to teach the children about what local farmers do and where their food comes from.

"They're learning about how to grow blueberries and vegetables, how they get into production and get sold in our communities," she said.

The farm day is supported by Hellmann's Mayonnaise and was organized by The Green Team and the garden club.

Trevor MacDonald's Blueberry Farm gave a presentation on how to plant and harvest blueberries and the students were able to taste frozen berries from his farm. Josie Dunn said that was her favourite part of the afternoon because "we got to eat blueberries and I like blueberries," she said.

Carter Welch had the same reaction. "The blueberries were very good," he said, also mentioning that he liked the blueberry and honey presentations.

"I learned that when you make honey you need to smoke the bees because it keeps them calm," he said.

Brandie Brown, a teacher at West Pictou who leads the Garden Club, said there is a benefit to teaching students when they're young about supporting locally produced food.

"The benefit would be to support your local communities instead of taking food from millions of miles away and the chemicals being put on them there. The local farmers aren't using those same chemicals so it's for health reasons as well," she said.

Along with West River Greenhouses and Trevor MacDonald's Blueberry Farm, Seafoam Lavender Farm, Friesens Farms, Maureen MacDonald's Honey Farm, The Little Dan. D. Farm had presentations for the students.


Organizations: West Pictou Consolidated, Garden Club

Geographic location: Pictou, West River

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