On Wednesday morning, Year 5 headed off to Steven’s Farm, the apple orchard and arable farm in Hawkhurst, owned and farmed by the family of our very own Mrs Budd.
Children saw for themselves how apples are grown, picked, washed and sorted, before being packed up and shipped off to local supermarkets. Importantly, there was a lot of discussion about the lengths that farmers go to in order to minimise their impact on the environment. Parents should be warned that there will be uproar from Year 5 students if they buy bags of apples in non-recyclable “crinkley” plastic! Mr Budd (Junior) also highlighted the plight of fruit and vegetable farmers at the moment and the power of supermarkets in dictating the packaging, labelling and prices of their produce and the environmental impact if British farmers can no longer afford to farm and we end up relying on non-British produced food. This is in contrast to the global ‘crop’ market, where global supply and demand determine the prices.
The children were able to get up close to the sparklingly clean and massive machinery that helps their work. Mrs Reeve was quick to point out the role of GPS, algorithms and coding to highlight the use of technology in farming. It allows farmers not to ‘overlap’ on their fertilisers and pesticides, as well as not disturbing the soil unlike traditional ploughing practices, which benefits the farmers, the consumers and the environment… a win – win!
Although rather chilly, the weather did stay dry and the children really appreciated the opportunity to learn about food production in the local area, a topic that they will soon be learning in geography lessons. Our thanks go to both Mr Budd’s for their time showing us around their impressive farm and explaining their role in minimising our impact on the environment.
Mr Kimber, Head of Geography