School Field Trips
From September to April, we offer age-appropriate, multidisciplinary programs for students from 1st through 12th grade*. Students learn about agriculture firsthand on a working farm, including everything from food cycles to soil science. There is something for every class at Blackwood!
- Introduce students to the concept of food systems.
- Teach students how food is grown, what makes a system sustainable, and the value of a healthy diet filled with locally grown meat and produce.
- Show students that it is possible – and advantageous – to grow food that doesn’t need chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or other artificial inputs.
Field trips are optionally TEKS relevant and geared toward your subject and larger curriculum. Whether you’re part of a home school group or a public school, we can accommodate your pedagogy.
Interested visiting Blackwood for your next field trip? Please see our field trip options below and complete a request form.
*Please note that field trips are for students 1st – 12th grade. If you are interested in programming for kindergarten and preschool students, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- At this time, we are able to accommodate groups up to 50 (including chaperones; can go up to 55 for groups of 50 with 5 chaperones).
- For ages 1st – 12th grade only. Please email email@example.com for information regarding programming for kindergarten and preschool students.
1 hour – $11/student | 2 hours – $13/student | 3 hours – $15/student
Financial assistance is available. For more information, please email Gabi Graves at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Field Trip Options
In addition to the following options, we also have a comprehensive catalog of classes that can be incorporated into your class’ visit. If you are interested in a particular class (click above to see catalog), please note it in the “Do you have a specific subject you would like covered?” section of the Field Trip Request Form.
Explore Where Food Comes From
Our most popular class option, Explore Where Food Comes From illustrates the journey food takes from seed to harvest. We tailor this class based on the options offered below, and can include everything from an examination of the microorganisms responsible for soil health to proper harvesting and produce preparation techniques. Exploring where food comes from provides a comprehensive overview of the land and is a great program for students’ first experience at Blackwood. Our exploration always begins with a Land Tour and the discovery of our 3 unique ecosystems: the coastal prairie, post oak savannah, and pine barrens. From there, you may choose up to three of the following options to curate your visit with us:
- Visit the chickens and harvest eggs
- Meet the bees and enjoy a honey tasting
- Learn planting and harvesting basics in the Kitchen Garden
- Introduction to soil health and microorganisms
- Prepare a fresh food experience from our garden
Service Learning on the Land
Service Learning helps students develop a strong work-ethic, a sense of community, and team building skills. These projects will engage them in the physical labor of farming and provide the opportunity to become experienced with farm material and equipment. From helping our farmer prepare for cultivation to learning the basics of simple construction, we always have projects to be completed at Blackwood.
Ongoing projects include:
- Clearing garden pathways and laying fresh mulch
- Basic construction projects
- Fence and trail maintenance
- Prepare crop rows for cultivation
Creative, Practical, & Tangible Problem Solving of Real Agricultural Issues
Our current agricultural system faces both economic and ecological challenges. How might we transform comprehensive solutions to build a more resilient future for our farms and communities? This option focuses on problem solving fundamental issues plaguing our current food system. After an examination and discussion of the systems Blackwood currently utilizes, your group will choose a simulation to evaluate, and complete an innovative project.
Current offerings for this experience include:
- Exploring food waste
- Investigating farm economics
- Creating your own farm model
- Inventing new farm technology
Permaculture & Sustainable Farming Principles
Ecological balance, within nature as well as between humans and nature, is the foundation upon which all practices are built at Blackwood Educational Land Institute. In this class, we will explore the principles of biological soil stewardship, natural building methods, the cohesion of design functionality and aesthetics, and the great potential for symbiosis between humans and the natural world. Through careful observation and understanding nature and its systems, we are implementing unique farm strategies to improve our agricultural efficiency, and harmony with the natural world.
Choose from one of the following:
- Interactive tour
- Interactive tour including 1-2 hours of hands-on farm work in our demonstration field
Your group will be given the opportunity to practice soil cultivation methods, and learn proper planting and harvesting techniques
School Garden Starter Kit
We will provide you with the knowledge and materials needed for starting or upgrading your own school garden. After touring Blackwood’s demonstration garden and learning about our cultivation practices, students will have an opportunity to complete a basic construction project, such as building a vegetable planter for their classroom. Students will learn constriction skills, the importance of nutrition, and develop a better understanding of where their food comes from.
For up to 2 hours of this option, you may choose up to two garden projects including:
- Simple Garden Planters
- Vermicompost bins
- Bat box
- Potting soil mix
- 2-gallon compost tea brewer
- Compost tumbler