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FARM AID and the Camden Children’s Garden Work to Bring the Good Food Movement to Camden
Camden Children's Garden (October 7, 2006)
CAMDEN, New Jersey (September 15, 2006) – FARM AID, which tries to keep family farmers on their land, will hold its annual benefit concert at the Camden Tweeter Center on September 30th. Farm Aid and the Camden Children’s Garden, along with other area organizations, have been working for months to plan a series of food and farm events that will bring the message of the “good food movement” to Philadelphia and Camden, NJ. These events are designed to connect residents of our urban and rural communities and to celebrate the fresh local food that our area family farms provide! Fresh Food Week in Camden Schools Tuesday, September 26 through Wednesday, September 27 FARM AID and the Camden Children’s Garden will bring area farmers into Camden schools through the Camden Children’s Garden Grow Lab program. For 18 years, Grow Lab has served thousands of Camden students and daycare children. This popular school-based program teaches Camden children science and math skills through horticulture. Grow Lab is a mini-indoor greenhouse developed by the National Gardening Association with a curriculum that follows the New Jersey Core Curriculum Standards for math and science in grades K through 8. Students grow their own produce on a small scale to be harvested for their Salad Party, an activity that marks the end of the semester. The Grow Lab staff attends each class once every two weeks for approximately one hour to teach lessons and monitor progress. In honor of FARM AID, the Camden Children’s Garden Grow Lab program has invited Farm Aid's Program Director Ted Quaday and Farmer Tracy Duffield, of Duffield’s Farm Market (in Sewell, NJ), to four Camden schools. Farmer Tracy will present an educational program, entitled “The many hats a farmer wears.” This interactive program will dispel the common belief that a farmer is in his tractor from sun-up to sundown. The truth is that a farmer wears many hats, meaning that he or she performs many jobs. Following this skit, Farmer Tracy will talk about pumpkins and offer students a taste of various kinds of pumpkins and produce. A few students will also participate in a symbolic planting with the help of Farmer Tracy, and receive fun farm prizes. Finally, the session will wrap up with a Question and Answer section in which students and staff can ask anything they want to know about farming. Heart of Camden and Rutgers Cooperative Extension will be facilitating similar events this week. The Camden Children’s Garden Grow Lab Farm Program will take place at these four Camden schools: ~ Tue., Sept. 26th ~ 9:00am: Cooper’s Poynt Elementary ~ Tue., Sept. 26th ~ 1:00pm: St. Anthony of Padua School ~ Wed., Sept. 27th ~ 10:00am F. X. McGraw Elementary – ~ Wed., Sept. 27th ~ 1:00pm Camden's Promise Charter Farms and Food Youth Summit Thursday, September 28, 2006 ~ 9am – 2pm Duffield's Farm, a long-standing partner of the Camden Children’s Garden, will host a group of local teenagers interested in agriculture. This event will bring together high school-age youth from urban and rural communities to share mutual interests and concerns about food, farming, and nutrition. Several of the Camden Children’s Garden Youth employees are also students at the Camden County Technical School (CCTS), majoring in horticulture/ landscaping, and are members of Future Farmers of America. These teens, along with youth from various backgrounds, will enjoy a tour of Duffield’s Farm as they share their views and concerns about food and farming. Mike Devlin, Director of the Camden Children’s Garden, commented, “These urban teens are learning about horticulture and landscaping hands-on at their jobs at the Camden Children’s Garden and through their education at CCTS. We are very excited that our youth will meet other teens with similar interests to discuss FARM AID’s important mission.” Other groups that will participate in this program are Gloucester County’s 4-H Senior Council and Franklin Towne Charter High School in Philadelphia. The teens will learn about the daily tasks of life on a farm as well as the important issues that affect family farms today. Through a peer-to-peer exchange, the youth will be able to develop leadership skills and deepen their understanding of how food and farming are linked to individual and community well-being. Event facilitators include FARM AID, PA and NJ Future Farmers of America, and Gloucester County 4H Council. FARM FEST in Support of FARM AID Saturday, September 30, 2006 ~ 10am-4pm. On Saturday, September 30th, the Camden Children’s Garden will host FARM FEST, to support the mission and to convey the message of FARM AID to area residents. Through family-friendly activities, this event will show our visitors the importance of eating fresh fruits and vegetables, buying locally grown produce, living a healthy lifestyle and supporting FARM AID. This event will include crafts, fresh-food fun, entertainment by BLUESBOX, a Farmers Market, 4-H Senior Council presentations, farm games, a barnyard sing-a-long and dance-a-long, NJ Fresh food cart, nutritional activities by Area Health Educator Center of Camden, and an appearance by New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Charles M. Kuperus. NJ Fresh is the sponsor of this event. Camden residents (with ID) will have free admission to FARM FEST at the Camden Children’s Garden courtesy of the Philadelphia Eagles Access Program. FARM AID concert ticket holders also enter free. The Camden Children’s Garden wants you to…Come Outside and Play! The Garden is open 10:00 am to 5:00 pm every day (except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day). Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for children (age 3 -11) and free for children two years and under. Joint tickets are available at the Adventure Aquarium for $2.50 per person. This 4.5-acre garden features a variety of themed educational exhibits for children, including the Dinosaur Garden, Storybook Gardens, Red Oak Run and Tree House, Cityscapes Garden and more. Enjoy great indoor attractions including the Philadelphia Eagles Four Seasons Butterfly House, the NEW Benjamin Franklin Exhibit and Plaza de Aibonito, a Puerto Rican tropical exhibit. Ride the Commerce Carousel, Arrow River Express Train Ride, and Spring Butterfly Ride for a small fee. Additional information is available online at www.camdenchildrensgarden.org, or call (856) 365-TREE. Take River LINE to the Aquarium Station Stop, or ride NJ TRANSIT bus routes No. 452, 453, or 457 from the Walter Rand Transportation Center in Camden. The Children's Garden is next to the Adventure Aquarium on the Camden Waterfront. For transit information, call 1-800-772-2222. The Camden City Garden Club, the operator of the Camden Children’s Garden, is a non-profit (501) (c) (3), membership-based, educational and environmental organization established in 1985 to assist Camden City residents with community gardening. The mission of the organization is to provide horticulture-based recreational and educational opportunities for people of all ages who live in the City of Camden or the Delaware Valley.