“Children actually believe that milk comes from Tesco before they come here.” (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
Send photos, video and news by texting GUARDIAN SERIES to 80360 (cost 10p), or email us
“Children actually believe that milk comes from Tesco before they come here.”
It seems unbelievable that a child would not know where milk or eggs come from, but that is the experience of city farm coordinator, Meg Wilson, who is dedicated to teaching inner-city children where their food comes from.
Brooks Farm is an award-winning city farm based inside Skeltons Lane Park in Leyton.
They have around 30 children regularly volunteering there as part of their ‘farm family’ but they also get school groups coming to visit throughout the week.
Farm coordinator, Meg Wilson, said: “Children actually believe that milk comes from Tesco before they come here.
“Lots of children have said to me they think cows lay eggs.
“It’s still a shock when they come out with it.”
Miss Wilson said she thinks parents are not teaching their children the basics of where food comes from, either because they do not know themselves, or because they assume it will be taught in school.
The semi-working farm keeps everything from chickens to alpacas with many animals taken to slaughter – all part of teaching the children about the farming process and how food ends up on their plate.
As the farm is so small, it does not produce enough meat to sell on so instead they have a barbeque for all the volunteers who apparently enjoy eating sausages made from the pigs they have been looking after.
Miss Wilson says even though the animals are named, the children are told from the first time they come to the farm, that the animals are cared for until they are taken to slaughter.
“I even find it difficult sometimes but the children are usually fine with it. We explain it to them and they understand. They get used to it,” said Miss Wilson.
The point of the farm is to make sure that children understand the process of farming so they take an interest in animal welfare and supporting local farms and food producers.
The farm started in the 80s when a woman who ran the children’s centre on the site started bringing guinea pigs in for the children.
They loved it so much that she ended up buying animals from local farms, like pigs, and building enclosures by hand to house them.
The new ‘city farm ‘existed alongside the children’s centre until the centre closed 6 years ago.
The farm won the Animal Show Shield at the City Harvest Festival at Capel Manor last week, meaning it was deemed the best city farm out of all thirteen in the competition.
Miss Wilson said: “It was fantastic. I’m so proud that the children put in the work in to win. It’s such a good feeling.
“To actually win really boosted their confidence. They absolutely loved it and they were so happy. They said ‘we’ve got to step it up for next year’”
Comments are closed on this article.