FarmChat® at Sean's Fall Favorites!
It was a blast chatting with two Summit Schools classrooms this morning during our pumpkin FarmChat® at Sean's Fall Favorites! Thank you Brenda for sharing your knowledge with the preK-1st grade students!
FarmChat® is a unique program that utilizes technology to bring the farm experience directly into school classrooms. Using an app, students connect with and directly speak with the farmer.
Students experienced a taste of agriculture and had a live Q&A session with a farmer without leaving the safety of their classroom. COVID-19 has cancelled many upcoming fieldtrips but with the help of technology, students are able to tour a farm or agribusiness while continuing to follow health and safety guidelines.
Brenda's son, Sean, began growing gourds back in the early 2000's as a way to make an income while in school. The patch has now grown to an annual stand offering multiple varieties of pumpkins, gourds, and squash. Brenda didn't know the actual number but guesses they plant roughly 10,000 seeds a year! Sean is now a student at Iowa State University and his parents have continued growing pumpkins for their annual stand near Swisher.
Brenda began the chat by showing the students how the season begins... with catalogs and seed packets! We discussed the difference between pumpkins and gourds, continued with characteristics of pumpkin varieties and concluded with a carving demonstration.
Brenda explained to the students that some pumpkin varieties are good for carving while others are good for eating. Large Jack O' Lantern pumpkins are often grown for their study stem, bright orange skin, and hollow inside while pie pumpkins are often heavy, lighter in color and have lots of pumpkin flesh/meat/pulp. Pumpkins grown for baking tend to have a sweeter flavor.
It was so fun to take Summit School students on a field trip to Sean's Fall Favorites! Brenda and her family sent a pumpkin home with each student! The kids loved it!
Fun Fact Friday: The word "pumpkin" showed up for the first time in the fairy tale Cinderella.
A French explorer in 1584 first called them "gros melons," which was translated into English as "pompions" according to history. It wasn't until the 17th century that they were first referred to as pumpkins. https://www.history.com/news/pumpkin-facts-halloween-jack-o-lantern