Field trips at Grow Dat provide hands-on, experiential learning opportunities to students in grades K-8. Our seven-acre site in New Orleans City Park hosts a 2.5-acre farm, produce handling and storage facilities, and a lush, dynamic wild space along our Birding Corridor, which runs parallel to the bayou on the west side of our campus.
We have developed three curriculum tracks that incorporate these interactive spaces on our farm to engage students in science and social studies concepts throughout the field trip learning experience. Each track is tied to individual age groups' respective educational standards. Visiting schools may choose from one of the following tracks:
BIRDS AND BUGS ON THE BAYOU: Observing Organisms in Their Habitats
What’s living at Grow Dat besides fruits and vegetables? Why is protecting habitat for birds and other wildlife important, especially in New Orleans? This lesson begins with a farm tour focused on observation of all the living things on the farm—not just the fruits and vegetables we grow. We pay particular attention to native plant and ecological interactions. For the second half of the lesson, students venture into the birding corridor to continue their scientific observations with frames, binoculars, and hand lenses. By looking up close (hands-on observation) and zooming out (satellite maps), young people consider the importance of native habitats for the farm, the city, the region, and the planet.
SEED TO PLATE: The Story of Food
Where does food come from? How is the story of a Grow Dat cucumber different from the story of a cucumber from the grocery store? These questions frame the Seed to Plate lesson. Students follow the journey of a vegetable that is currently in season on the farm. Throughout the field trip, hands-on experiences and photos invite student interrogation into the differences between the industrial food system and sustainable farming at Grow Dat. Students follow a vegetable from seed to harvest, learning about sustainable farming techniques along the way. The lesson concludes with students helping to prepare and eat a snack featuring the vegetable that they learned about on the tour.
FARMING WITH CARE: Agriculture in the Ecosystem
Why is it important to care for soil and water? How is farming at Grow Dat connected to the broader ecosystem? This lesson focuses on sustainable farming in the context of ecological interconnectedness. To begin, students observe the teeming life in a soil sample from the farm and a water sample from the nearby bayou. Young people have the opportunity to appreciate the diversity at these micro levels and speculate how human choices impact these habitats. Then, students tour the farm with these communities in mind, noticing how specific sustainable farming practices at Grow Dat aim to mimic natural systems and respect the ecosystem around us.
Plan Your Field Trip
Plan your field trip to Grow Dat Youth Farm by filling out the following registration form:
Please note that during the months of July - September, our growing fields are cover cropped, which means our fields are resting! If you would like to see our farm at the height of production, the best months to visit are October - June.
Interested in planning a visit for high school students or adults? Visit our Farm Tours page for information about Learning Tours.