In days gone by, children knew the vegetables on their plate were grown in a garden, the fried chicken they loved so much was also a farm product, and the glass of milk they enjoyed with their favorite homemade cookie was compliments of Bessie the cow or Nanny the goat.
Not so with the newest generation. Today’s children are more apt to recognize brand names such as McDonald’s or Kraft Mac and Cheese than they are the name of a vegetable. In fact, it is reported than a third of schoolchildren don’t know that vegetables provide vital vitamins and 7% don’t know that cheese is a dairy product.
Rype & Readi would like to help change all that. That’s why we’re inviting local schools and groups to schedule field trips to our farm and why we’re also offering fractional shares of our farm for those interested.
We believe every trip to a farm can be educational, rewarding, and fun! For children who have never pulled a carrot from the ground, gathered eggs, or petted a goat, a visit to the Rype & Readi Farm can be a real discovery!
A favorite of visitors of all ages at Rype & Readi are the newest additions to the farm – two baby goats born on Opening Day, February 20, 2015. Born to pigmy parents Baileys & Cream, visitors helped name our adorable twins Kahlua and Gomez.
Other R&R farm animals not to be missed include Pedro & Paprika (our chickens), Clyde & Monty (our donkeys), Betsy, Zoey, Maybelline, Cole, Vinny & Annabelle (our cows), Boris the Russian Blue cat, and Lucq, Managing Partner Jean-Sebastien’s beloved dog, who comes from a long line of sheep-herding border dogs in the village of Lucq-de-bearn in France. (Yes, Lucq actually flew from France to America.)
Small bags of animal food are offered, should the children want to feed the animals.
Children can see not only rows and rows of vegetables and flowers growing in our garden, but can see a modern hydroponic garden that was installed with the help of the local branch of the UF PWACS. They’ll also enjoy a peek at our Shiitake Mushroom patch that was created with the help of the Exotic Earth Mushrooms team in January of this year. Depending on which time of year they visit, there might even be an opportunity to pick a fresh orange from a tree or even some fresh blueberries.
A visit inside the store can yield even more discoveries for the children as (depending on the time of year) they might find Easter Egg radishes, rare Okinawan potatoes which, when sliced open, are a beautiful purple color, edible orchids, delicate microgreens, mushrooms growing from bags and in blocks, Honeymoon melons, fresh papaya, avocados, a variety of squash, zucchini, fresh green beans, strawberries, fresh honeycomb, bee pollen, cool and refreshing Hibiscus tea, fresh lemonade… and much, much more.
Who knows? A trip to the farm might turn that picky eater into a food connoisseur or even inspire a future farmer. It will definitely be something they won’t soon forget.
Teachers, please ask about Rype & Readi math, science, and nutrition lesson plans to inspire your students to germinate lettuce seeds in your classroom to plant in our hydroponic stacks and later return on a field trip to harvest and prepare wraps with our farm chef. Also, what is more adorable than a class adopted farm animal mascot? We believe all young minds are filled with promise and possibility. Rype & Readi Farm Market is organized to inspire possibilities in agriculture that can lead to exciting futures. We invite all educators to commiserate on our farm for fun, food, and discovery.
For more information or to reserve a visit to the farm for your group, please contact Jean-Sebastien Gros at RypeNReadi@gmail.com