Who We Are
Chipping Hill Micro Farms is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit that aims to educate kids about the connection between agriculture and nutrition. In partnership with PreK PA, PreK Counts, and PreK Head Start programs, we have been installing micro farms to grow vegetables and conducting classes for learners since 2010.
Our programs teach children about growing food through direct interaction with the soil, herbs, flowers, and vegetables. They cut and eat fresh greens and vegetables directly from our micro farms.
Unique and Innovative Structures
Our mobile greenhouses serve as the heart of our lessons. They have raised beds, recycled sliding doors with Thermopane panels, as well as grow light bulbs for year-round growing. As miniature organic agricultural systems, they serve as an excellent approach to teaching young children how real food grows.
Engaging Lessons and Delicious Produce
Weekly tastings of salads and vegetables grown in our micro farms occur at each of the sites. These activities complement age-appropriate lessons, which include gardening, agriculture, and botany. Due to our consistently great instruction and delicious veggies, the demand for our mobile greenhouse and micro farms has grown.
Driven to Reach More Children
We have expanded our efforts to teach 4-year-old daycare children throughout Philadelphia and Montgomery County. With us, they will learn the connections between food, agricultural systems, and the natural world.
Our mission is to support and encourage children to eat healthily and to learn about the science of agriculture and its sustainability as it relates to the environment and their communities.
Many children from all academic and economic levels are not aware that the food we eat is directly sourced from the natural world. This vital resource, around which so much of our culture revolves, has become disassociated from the natural and agricultural systems that produce it.
To many children, the food we eat comes from the grocery store and is just “always there.” In all but the most rural settings, there are few common life experiences that help children recognize that their latest meal came from the land, whether directly or indirectly.
What better way to teach young people about the natural world than through gardening? The experience of gardening—planting a seed, watching it grow, nurturing the plant by watering, weeding, and guarding against pests, and waiting for it to mature and bear fruit—teaches children many valuable lessons they will carry with them throughout their adult lives.
Children are much more adventurous in eating fresh produce when it comes from their own garden, and healthier habits, once formed, can last a lifetime. Being responsible for the nurture of another living thing and creating something that is aesthetically pleasing develops personal values and connects the child with the larger human community and the natural world.
In our teaching process, we will encourage children to be curious, to get dirty, to start a nature journal, and to use their listen, smell, and watch senses.
A preponderance of research in the last two decades indicates that direct, frequent experience with the natural world produces positive physical, mental, and emotional benefits in children and adults. Improved cognitive functioning includes enhanced ability to focus, observation skills, recall of information, creativity, and the ability to reason.
Reduced stress and self-esteem are also among the positive results when children are allowed unstructured time to explore the outdoors. Many specialists in child development now believe that regular contact with the natural world is essential to the emotional development of children.
Reach Out to Us
We would love to hear from you! For more information about our programs and projects, contact us today.