Current projects & stories

Kids Love Bugs, Vegetables, and Healthy Snacks

Two summer programs offer new opportunitiesPhoto of a hornworm by Jay and Melissa Malouin/Flickr

“Eww!” says Camden, age 7, as he watches one of the Kids Connect! teachers pick a three-inch green caterpillar off a cherry tomato plant. Five minutes later he is running around with a small cardboard box asking everyone to add more hornworms to his carton.

In the late afternoon, the tomatoes, also freshly picked off the plants, will be chopped by Camden and the other kids for a homemade red sauce served with zucchini noodles. For many it’s the first time they’ve tried zucchini.

Creating a relationship to the land

Getting school-age children outside and experiencing first-hand healthy eating is a relatively new venture for the Monadnock Conservancy. This summer we are hosting Kids Connect! at two sites, both conserved farms — Four Winds Farm in Peterborough and Tracie’s Community Farm in Fitzwilliam. The programs seek to promote self-esteem, teamwork, play and healthy eating by connecting children to the land and the outdoors through safe and fun farming, gardening and nature activities.

In Peterborough, the children often explore the farm, fields and forest with journals in hand, writing about or sketching what they observe. While in Fitzwilliam, a farm chore each session has the kids picking peas and tomatoes or washing carrots. Then both groups collect fresh vegetables and make a new snack recipe to try. “The kids are having a blast,” says Kate Neary of Monadnock Family Services.

Thank you to our community partners

The support of the Caswell Foundation has been instrumental to the success of the Kids Connect! programs. In Peterborough, the Cornucopia Project has been a fantastic co-leader in this venture, and we are also fortunate to partner with Four Winds Farm, Dancing Farms LLC, Mad Radish CSA, Monadnock Family Services, The River Center, and Southern New Hampshire Services: Western Hillsborough County Family Program. For the Fitzwilliam site, we are grateful to Tracie’s Community Farm, Elephant Rock Farm, Monadnock Family Services, and Keene Housing Kids Collaborative.

 View more photos: click here to see images posted on Facebook.