Summer on the Farm

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2012: $4,439.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2013
Region: North Central
State: Wisconsin
Project Coordinator:
Ana Skemp
Deep Roots Community Farm

Annual Reports


  • Agronomic: potatoes, grass (misc. perennial), hay
  • Fruits: melons, apples, berries (other), plums
  • Nuts: hazelnuts
  • Vegetables: asparagus, beans, beets, broccoli, cabbages, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucurbits, eggplant, garlic, greens (leafy), leeks, onions, parsnips, peas (culinary), peppers, radishes (culinary), rutabagas, sweet corn, tomatoes, turnips, brussel sprouts
  • Additional Plants: herbs, ornamentals
  • Miscellaneous: mushrooms


  • Animal Production: feed/forage
  • Education and Training: farmer to farmer, youth education
  • Farm Business Management: whole farm planning
  • Production Systems: organic agriculture

    Proposal summary:

    "Summer on the Farm" is an experiment in creating a successful hands-on farm discovery experience for local elementary students. Our programning brings students out to the farm for week long programming wherein they plant, tend, and harvest fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs in our vegetable fields. This direct involvement in the cycle of growing food leads to willingness to try healthy food and builds the foundation for healthy eating patterns that can last a lifetime. Our programming is very hands-on and the children engage in the real daily work of the farm. This hands-on work is supplemented with science activities such as plant and animal identification. Our daily schedule also uniquely provides them with unstructured free time in the outdoors so they can visit with a favorite chicken, sit under an apple tree and gaze at the clouds, or dig gallons of potatoes. Sending the participants home with recipes and fresh produce helps create sustainability of the ideas we are teaching. This project is a collaboration between Deep Roots Community Farm (a production farm that raises vegetables, fruit, herbs, flowers, and beef for farmer's market), Lila Planavsky, M.Ed., (public school teacher), and Community Health and Education Majors from the University of WI, LaCrosse. We hope to develop our programming into a model that could be successfully replicated to create an additional stream of revenue for farms.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    1) We provide children with a hands-on discovery based experience on a real working farm located in the beautiful countryside and surrounded by nature.
    2.) We equip school-age children with the tools and knowledge they need to inspire healthy and adventurous food choices by giving them hands-on experience in the planting, tending, harvesting, and eating of fresh fruits and vegetables.
    3) We help students develop an understanding and appreciation for the full cycle of food: from seed to table and both the hard work and the joy that are involved in that cycle.
    4)We expose children to the seasonality of life on the farm and the seasonal availability of local food.
    5) We improve families' nutritional traditions and consequently improve families' quality of life.
    6) We provide a greater opportunity for children of low-income/low-access families to participate in this experience.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.