Community-engaged learning, a form of experiential education, helps students connect what they’re learning in the classroom to what’s happening in their communities.
Community-engaged learning, a form of experiential education, helps students connect what they’re learning in the classroom to what’s happening in their communities and give them skills to think about solutions to some of the grand challenges in our world. Environmental, economic and social sustainability are just a few of these challenges, and students from the University of New Brunswick Fredericton are bringing their skills and knowledge into the community to help create a more sustainable future.
Located on a site that was previously a 200-acre dairy farm, Hayes Farm is a community teaching farm located on the northside of Fredericton. Their mission is to inspire and mobilize New Brunswickers toward a resilient and thriving food system by providing them with the skills, expertise and support needed to practice human-scale regenerative agriculture. The Hayes farm model addresses local food security, financial responsibility, personal and spiritual fulfillment for individuals and food production in the local community. Incorporated into the Hayes Farm is the spirit of honouring Indigenous culture and food ways, integrative principles of land-based learning and reconnection.
“The importance of urban agriculture is not that it’s urban, but that it’s accessible,” says Claire May, coordinator at Hayes Farm. “As a society, we are getting more and more disconnected from our food system, and that isn’t just knowing where our food comes from. It’s also about knowing who grew it, understanding growing practices, being part of the conversation about what and how you eat, and even taking part in production if you so choose. At Hayes Farm we are trying to be present for the community to engage with us either through conversation or on-farm so that people can see themselves as part of the system, and not outside of it.”
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Image via University of New Brunswick.