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Field trip shows kids where pizzas comes from

Annette Buchanan recently walked 13 students around a circle replicating slices of a pizza at Fender’s Farm to show the youngsters from Lamar School where the ingredients come from to make a delicious meal.
A new field trip, Farm to Pizza, kicked off at Fender’s Farm on April 25 to provide the children with a hands-on understanding of farming. Buchanan said that Tennessee has been pushing the concept of Farm to Table, which the field trip follows, but the field trip breaks it down to make it easier for the youngsters to understand.
An agricultural specialist from Wisconsin, where the concept Farm to Pizza really kicked off, is helping Buchanan put together the educational aspect of the field trip at Fender’s Farm, located on Highway 107, and owned and operated by her parents, Carroll and Bonnie Fender.
Buchanan said they wanted to offer the first field trip this spring to see how things ran before launching it next spring. She said Farm to Pizza will be offered from the last week of April through the end of May next year.
“We are intrigued by the idea and hope it takes off,” she said. “It’s a good learning experience for the kids.”
Sara Murr’s kindergarten through fourth-grade students and Wendi Miller’s fit to eighth-grade students, who are all in special education CDC classes at Lamar, answered many of the questions correctly as they walked from slice to slice.
The youngsters first learned about wheat, while having an opportunity to see what it looked like. After learning that wheat makes flour, which is used for dough, they walked to the next slice where they had the opportunity to pull an onion out of a pot.
A plastic cow stood in the next slice, which the kids learned was used for milk and cheese. As the youngsters continued around the circle, they got to see, smell and feel many other ingredients that make up a pizza, such as tomatoes, peppers and herbs.
Buchanan, who has a teaching degree, said it is important that the children leave the field trip knowing that all the ingredients needed to make a pizza come from a farm.
“I want them to see where the food comes from,” she said.
After the kids learned about the dough, sauce and toppings, they headed inside to make personal pan pizzas of their own. The students were each given a pizza crust and containers of sauce, cheese and pepperoni as they made their way down a counter creating their lunch.
Fourth-grade student John Suits, 11, said it was the first time he had made a pizza like this.
A fellow classmate, second-grade student Bradford Garland, 9, said with a smile that he put double pepperoni and cheese on his pizza, the first one he had ever made.
Once the pizzas were personalized, the children were then afforded the opportunity to watch the pizzas as they slowly made their way through the small oven. One by one, the students were handed their plates and, with smiles on their faces, they made their way to the tables to enjoy their creations.
Murr said it was a good overall experience for her students to be on a farm and learn how things are grown.
“This is wonderful,” she said of the field trip. “It was overall a good experience for them to be out in the community.”
The students also had the opportunity to see some farm animals, ride in a wagon and participate in some outdoor games during the field trip. Murr said the students got to pet a baby pig, which they all seemed to enjoy.
Suits said he enjoyed going for a tractor ride and seeing the animals while on the field trip.
Garland said he liked seeing a goat, rabbit and pig while on the field trip.
“I think they had a great time,” Buchanan said.
Those who are interested in the Farm to Pizza field trip can call Fender’s Farm at 753-4469 or call Buchanan’s cell phone at 426-2706.