Spring 2023 Field Trips: A Recap

Hello Friends and Farmers. Our final Spring 2023 Field Trip was on June 8th. Thanks to our Portland State University Capstone students and cohort of interns, we were able to offer field trips 4 days a week this spring.

That was 35 field trips, 11 more than Fall 2022!

That’s 11 classes from Washington County, 7 from Columbia County, and 17 from Portland Public School for a total of 898 students, up from 650 in Fall 2022.

Thanks to our funders from the U.S Department of Agriculture (Farm-to-School), West Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District, and East Multnomah Soil and Water Conversation District, we were able to provide full scholarships for 28 classes, 80% of participants.

The favorite garden snacks this spring were peas, strawberries, mustard green flowers, dandelions, and fresh radish pods. With support from the Portland Garden Club, we replanted our First Foods Forest with a diversity of nitrogen-fixing ground covers, flowering shrubs, and fruit trees. Later this summer, we’re going to install bird boxes to further support our Integrated Pest Management plan.

We were challenged by the weather this spring. With very cold, rainy days early in April that melted into surprisingly hot days in May. It was also an unusually pollen-dense year, which our favorite pollinators really appreciated but led to many sneezy students and itchy eyes. Fortunately, our educators got better at remembering their allergy pills in the mornings.

Here’s some feedback from chaperones and teachers this season:

“I love your volunteers! They are patient and kind to the students and knowledgeable.” – Parent from Harrison Park School

“‘Students were able to make fantastic connections to the science maerial we cover at our school garden and in our classroom. Thank you for supporting our students in having engaging, healthy, outdoor opportunities!'” – Classroom Teacher from James John Elementary

“The connections between plant life cycle and seeds is great! Thank you for the work you do. The field trip connects what we learn in class and the ecosystem around the area.”  – Classroom Teacher from Beach Elementary

Thanks for a fun spring. Summer Farm Camp is right around the corner!