|Investigate the significance of the Garden State look at climate, the Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. Also examine the available fresh water supply (groundwater) and the soil types.
The value of detritus in growing crops diked farming.
Changes in farming methods historical to present day. Invite local speakers. Contact The New Jersey Agricultural Society for a list of potential guest speakers.
Trace the crop Investigate the energy flow in a food chain to the energy it takes to get to a household for consumption.
Go on a field trip to a farm in your area. Have students determine what crops are grown, how much, where are they shipped to, how are they transported, how are they harvested, what is the growth season, what do the farmers do the rest of the year, etc.
Compare and contrast historical farming methods and crops to present day. Have students make models that represent each era in human agricultural history in the area.
Have a recipe contest with a crop (vegetable or fruit) that you collected as a class or one that is readily available locally because it is in season. Let the rest of the school be the judge of the contest! Perhaps this idea could be made into a small fund-raiser whereby students pay a small amount ($.50) to take the taste test.
Create a community garden on the school property where students plant vegetables, herbs, etc. and share them with the surrounding community/neighborhood.
Students plan and plant a colonial/traditional home garden from the past. What types of crops were grown? Why? Compare with present day farming methods.
Investigate the produce section of the supermarket. How many items are locally grown, how many are imported from within the United States, how many from other countries? Have students survey the shoppers/their families to see which items are most frequently purchased and why. Also have them keep track of the agricultural products that they use in their households for: a day, a week, a month?
Contact The New Jersey Agricultural Society at (609) 394-7766 or write them at P.O. Box 331, Trenton, NJ 08625-0331.
Visit the website: www.state.nj.us/agriculture/publ.htm