FarmerJawn Founder Speaks with Glenside Third Graders
FarmerJawn Community Supported Agriculture founder Christa Barfield met virtually with four Glenside Elementary third grade classes late last week. In support of the Black History Month theme of “Health and Wellness,” the third graders had been studying plant parts, plant care, and the importance of balanced meals, and Barfield’s accomplishments and contributions to the community dovetailed well with those lessons.
The former healthcare administrator explained to the children how important it is to understand where food comes from, how a trip to Martinique informed her decision to pursue urban agriculture, and participated in a student Q&A.
The students asked engaging questions ranging from “Why do you call it FarmerJawn?” (anyone has the power to grow their own food) and “What do you grow?” (peppers, tomatoes, spinach, beets, sweet potatoes, broccoli, kale and radishes to name a few) to “Do you grow avocados?” (not outdoors but maybe in a greenhouse) and “Why urban agriculture?” (it’s important for those in urban areas to have the opportunities to see food grow).
FarmerJawn follows regenerative farming practices that concentrate on soil health and increasing access to organic food to marginalized communities. Philadelphia is plagued with food-insecure families that work 40+ hours per week and still don't have access to chemical-free food options. The 3.5 acres on which Barfield farms at the Elkins Estate in Elkins Park is one of two properties she cultivates. She will add a Fishtown property in 2023.
Barfield rounded out the presentation by having the students repeat the mantra “Agriculture is the culture.”