In many ways, two of our company’s strongest pillars – education and transparency – go hand in hand. We believe that, as farmers of fresh produce, it is our responsibility to share knowledge with anyone and everyone we meet about what we know best – how to incorporate fresh produce into our daily lives.
We have a goal – a lofty one, but totally attainable – to be the go-to source for information on greenhouse-grown Tomatoes, Peppers, and Cucumbers for people all over the world! We’re well on our way to achieving this goal, and that’s largely thanks to all the innovative educational programs we have participated in, developed, and executed in our communities.
Why Is Education Essential?
“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” – Malcolm X
Knowledge is power. Power to make informed decisions. Power to shift your perspective. Power to have a positive impact on the people around you.
Education is all about sharing knowledge with people. But for us, education is about sharing knowledge with people everywhere — because no matter who you are or where you live, everyone can benefit from a greater understanding of fresh food.
Our company is in a unique position. As a vertically-integrated greenhouse farm, there is endless knowledge that exists within our glass walls – about how we grow fresh fruits and vegetables, how our food system functions, and how we can all live healthier lifestyles with fresh foods at the center! This is the type of information that can help someone be more intentional about their food choices, which is why fresh food knowledge needs to be made more accessible to people everywhere.
As a greenhouse farmer, we have an obligation: to make fresh food knowledge available to all, because everyone should have the power to choose a healthier, brighter future.
Sharing Knowledge: Our Educational Initiatives
No matter your age, you can always learn something new! This is the approach we take with all our educational initiatives. Whether it’s students during an elementary school visit, or passersby at a community event, our team is ready to engage with people of all ages on topics of greenhouse growing, healthy eating, and everything in-between.
Traditionally, we have visited classrooms, grocery stores, fairs, and community events to teach people in-person about greenhouse growing, healthy eating, and nutrition. However, with recent events in the world, we have had to get creative with how we continue to make educational content accessible to our communities. Keep reading to discover some of our newest e-learning education initiatives, as well as look back at the educational programs we have developed throughout the years.
Growing Minds Education Program
In an effort to develop healthier food, nutrition, and cooking habits in children, we’ve recently developed and launched the Growing Minds Education Program! This educational initiative provides parents and teachers with free lesson plans, presentations, activity sheets, and quizzes to engage students and help get them on the path to living a healthy lifestyle.
The Growing Minds Education Program was developed with input from senior nutrition students, Registered Dietitians, educators, and the Nature Fresh Farms team, providing diverse perspectives to create this unique nutrition education resource.
Interested in gaining access to this free resource? Then you’re in luck – it is officially live on our Educator Resources page!
Greenhouse Education Center
The Greenhouse Education Center (GEC) has become one of our most well-recognized educational tools. At our disposal since 2015, we have driven our 38-foot mobile greenhouse unit to hundreds of events, travelling as far north as Ottawa, ON and as far south as Bentonville, AR. We have exhibited our unit at retail stores, schools, and fairs, showing people young and old how greenhouse vegetables are grown!
When we host a GEC event, every experience is unique. If we’re at an elementary school, we have dozens of kids lining up to peek inside our demo Bumble Bee hive to try and spot the infamous Queen Bee. While at a retail store, customers stop by with groceries in hand so we can explain how we grew the Cucumbers they just picked up in the produce department. And at our favorite state and community fairs? Amidst all the deep-fried treats and thrilling rides, we’re impressing fairgoers with the height and health of our Bell Pepper plants (which, by the way, can grow up to 15 feet tall)!
With live plants and farming technology as a powerful backdrop, our team also views GEC events as the perfect opportunity to have discussions about healthy eating and nutrition. It’s one thing to know where your food comes from – it’s another thing to know why that food is good for you and how you can incorporate more of it into your diet.
Our mobile greenhouse is a one-of-a-kind educational tool that has opened the door for thousands of important conversations to take place and even more questions to be answered.
When we can’t bring our greenhouse-on-wheels for a school visit, we are still committed to delivering a great learning experience inside the classroom! Our team has visited many classrooms in our region to share our story and inspire young minds to learn more about their food.
We believe in catering our classroom visits to each unique group of students, but we always include tactile, visual, and auditory learning elements in our presentations.
With tactile teaching, we give students an opportunity to get their hands messy in a bucket of coconut fiber, stick a finger to a sticky card, or look inside our demo Bumble Bee hive. By providing a tactile learning experience, a lasting connection can be developed between the students we visit and the fresh food knowledge they absorb during a presentation.
For visual learners, we use a classroom’s visual equipment to display engaging images of the greenhouse and our products, as well as videos that show how we grow. Many students that we visit have never been inside a greenhouse farm before, so they often have a very limited understanding of what greenhouses look like inside. By including this type of imagery and video content in our presentations, students are afforded a unique opportunity to look inside the facilities where their food is grown!
Finally, auditory learners not only have engaging videos to listen to, but expert representatives from our farm to lead their discussions and answer any and all the questions that they ask! Students can trust that the Nature Fresh Farms team members who traveled all the way from the farm are the ultimate experts.
We have also incorporated the Produce Marketing Association’s (PMA’s) eat brighter!™ campaign into many of our classroom events. This innovative partnership between PMA and Sesame Workshop pairs Sesame Street characters with fresh foods to encourage children ages 2–5 to eat more fruits and veggies. At our eat brighter!™ school events, we have prepared healthy snacks with students, discussed how to develop healthy eating habits, and distributed activity sheets featuring Sesame Street characters eating Tomatoes, Peppers, and Cucumbers.
Promoting Careers to Post-Secondary Students
As students enter post-secondary school and start thinking about their potential career paths, it can be very overwhelming. The idea behind our team visiting post-secondary institutions is to show prospective graduates the many career possibilities that exist in greenhouse farming.
When people picture a farm, they usually don’t think about the fact that it needs more than just farmers to operate. A vertically integrated greenhouse farm like Nature Fresh Farms needs workers to lend their skills at every step of the farming process, from growing to shipping to selling!
Job fairs and guest lecture opportunities connect our team with talented young people soon to enter the workforce – opening their eyes to different career options and creating a network of strong future job candidates. Discover more about unique career opportunities in the greenhouse farming sector.
Some farm-level career opportunities include:
- Bio Scouts
- Greenhouse Supervisors
- Maintenance Workers
Some distribution-level career opportunities include:
- Line Leaders
- Production Supervisors
- Shipping and Receiving Teams
- Quality Inspectors
Some office-level career opportunities include:
- Human Resource Teams
- IT Technicians
- Accounting Clerks
- Marketing Teams
- Sales Representatives
In today’s day and age, the internet is many people’s go-to source for information. So, to make sure our content reaches as many people as possible, we utilize several digital platforms for sharing our fresh food knowledge!
Our Blogs page is constantly being updated with new educational content – from unpacking the science behind how we grow, to healthy lifestyle advice that highlights the importance of fresh eating, visitors to our website will always find something new to learn on the Nature Fresh Farms Blog.
For daily doses of educational content, we also encourage our fans to follow us on social media. We love sharing fun facts about greenhouse growing with our followers, and our partnerships with healthy eating leaders provide us with expert knowledge to share across our channels about the health benefits of eating fresh food.
You can find us on the following channels:
Still looking for ways to get quick access to our resources and educational content? Sign up for our email list and get fresh updates straight from the greenhouse, access to new blogs, and lots of recipe inspiration!
A Passion for Education
“Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” – Aristotle
Our company is passionate about education – we want to inspire a community of learners that always seek to discover more and to grow their minds. By providing access to new educational resources and diverse learning opportunities, we are doing our part to encourage the consumption of fresh food knowledge by people everywhere!
Because we aren’t just farmers – we’re also thought leaders.