POSTED ON BEHALF OF SARAH JACKSON
The Farm at Walker Jones was founded by my friend and former colleague, David Hilmy. David and I used to teach together at Lasalle-Backus Educational Campus in Northeast DC. David is absolutely passionate about educating our youth through a service-learning, hands-on approach. He has his students learn about, grow, tend, harvest, and cook all their own food. He has D.C. kids eating eggplant! It’s a true breakthrough. The food they grow goes to their families and to local farmers’ markets throughout the city.
This learning resource would be great for kids of all ages – including grown ones. We all could stand to learn more about our food source and the benefits of growing and eating local food to create a sustainable existence. It could be part of a formal curriculum or informal, depending on how thoroughly one would want to become involved with The Farm.
I would incorporate this into peace education in multiple ways. I would extrapolate curriculum that discussed how health, environment, economics, and community affect the choices we make in life and how this impacts our interactions with others. I would focus on how all of these areas of living overlap at The Farm and other places like it.
Students would build their awareness of the choices they possess in how they treat their own bodies, their environment, and others. They would journal and chart their own transformation both physically and emotionally through their experience at The Farm; perhaps even financially, depending on the involvement.
The two pillars of Peace Education supported by this resource are skill-building and engaging multiple intelligences. Through their work at The Farm at Walker Jones, students would learn how to create their own food source. This is a transformative learning experience, as it allows one to consider everything he/she does that impacts the environment and ultimately what grows in the environment. In addition, students would access a wide variety of their intelligences: interpersonal, naturalistic, kinesthetic, visual, logical/mathematical in the process of caring for the plants and bees at The Farm.