Wednesday, October 21, 2015

On the Eskenazi Sky Farm with 3 and 4 year olds

I was recently invited to the School for Young Children on the campus of IUPUI, because they are starting a STEM pilot program for pre-schoolers. When they asked me for ideas, I immediately suggested the Eskenazi Sky Farm, as it is but one block away from the school. The people at the School for Young Children thought it a good idea and they've been preparing all week, studying plants and irrigation and even growing kale as part of Farm2School's kale initiative.

We were fortunate to be received by not only the Sky Farmer herself, Rachel White, but also the Sky Farm's beekeeper, Kate Franzman.

Words are no longer useful, let's let my photos tell the story of today's adventure.

It was a short jaunt on a beautiful day to Eskenazi.

Eskenazi's Commons is designed for interactive fun.

Art and sculpture is integral to the overall aesthetic of Eskenazi.
Ready to enter.
One of the day's highlights: being crammed in the Eskenazi elevator. To the left is Jennifer Bohannon, from the School for Young Children, who prepared her students for this trip with STEM activities. Teaching assistant Mariah is to the right.
Eyeing the landscape before entering the Sky Farm.
Touring the Sky Farm, where food grown goes into the hospital cafeteria — as well as in some cases, home with the staff.

Beekeeper Kate Franzman also works at Growing Places Indy and so was explaining the various plants.
Rachel White, Sky Farmer, interacts with the kids.

Conferring over the kale crop.

Megan Hart, right (in the green sweater), was kind of enough to volunteer her morning to spend time with us. 

Kate describes the workings of the bee hive behind the fence.

Rachel answers questions.
Attentive children!

Thanks to the great folks at Eskenazi for always keeping their door open and thanks to Kate Franzman for showing up and to Megan Hart for volunteering her time. And thanks to the teachers and teaching assistants who dedicate their lives to their students.

When I think about the threat to their future because of climate change and ecological destruction of all kinds, it takes me to some dark places. Today, I was overwhelmed by the sweetness of this experience, and I will return to it again and again to redouble my efforts to inspire education, stewardship and civics.


  1. Thanks so much for doing this, Jim! Starting young makes a difference.

  2. Those little kids sure had a lovely time in this field trip. I think other schools should organize such field trips too since it helps increase the kids knowledge.


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