By Bonnie Carroll
SEEAG (Students for Eco-Education and Agriculture) Farm Lab, a food origins and food literacy program teaching students about the farm origins of the food they eat and a healthy eating approach, joined forces with the owners of Santa Ynez Valley Rancho De Los Olivos, Finley Farms, Amazing Grazing, Koehler Wines and Valley Piggery to present a Farm-to-Table Happy Hour introducing the SEEAG Farm Lab program and share information on their Farm Day programs scheduled on farms throughout the area.
The Rancho De Los Olivos in Santa Ynez Valley, owned by Tina and Jonathan Grunzweig, was as beautiful a venue as any movie set where guests mingled, enjoyed lovely wine from Koehler winery, delicious and healthy hors d’oeuvres from Amazing Grazing and Valley Piggery, created with fruits and vegetables from the Finley Farms.
Among the invited guests was Kenneth Kahn, Tribal Chairman, Santa Ynez Band of Chumash, who was interested to know the details shared with students during the Food Lab, and thought it was a valuable experience for all children to understand where food comes from and how food is grown in the Santa Ynez Valley area, and throughout California.
Speakers included hosts Tina & Johnathan Grunzweig, Mary Maranville (SEEAG CEO & Founder), Nico Navarro (Farm Lab Coordinator), Heidi Giese (enthusiastic Farm Lab Student), and Johanna & Chris Finley (owners of Finley Farms).
Speaker Heidi Giese, Happy Farm Lab Studen with her Mom (Photo: Bonnie Carroll)
CEO Mary Maranville explained the organization history and the program details that include student classroom presentations and field trip visits to the farm. Every student leaves the farm with fresh local produce, a vegetable seedling, and their very own Farm Lab passport with lessons, activities, and resources from the day. Over 3,000 third graders visit local farms each year 100% free of charge to all students.
Attending students receive their own Farm Lab or Farm Day passport designed for kids with valuable information on water, growing plants, insects, top area crops, food supply data, County local area farmers markets, recommended books on agriculture, growing word dictionary, and farm vocabulary.
The SEEAG mission is to educate students and the greater community about the farm origins of food and agricultures contribution to our nutritional well-being through hands-on classroom and outdoor experiential S.T.E.M. based learning. Their hope is to inspire local communities to have a deep appreciation for agriculture and the hands and lands that feed us to ensure the future viability of agriculture in rural and urban communities. It’s sowing knowledge that lasts a lifetime!
CEO, Founder Mary Maranville (Photo: Bonnie Carroll)
Save the Date – Free Event – Free Tours at 10+ farms, ranches & AG Support Organizations. SEEAG Farm Day – Farm to table – Kids to farms, Farm & Food Literacy Program. Visit their site for locations, dates, and general information below.
Please Note: Santa Barbara County Farm Day is September 23, 2023, from 10am-3pm. For information visit www.santabarbaracountyfarmday.com. Ventura County Farm Day is November 4, 2023. Visit www.venturacountyfarmday.com.
Hosts Tina & Jonathan Grunzweig, Rancho De Los Olivos (Photo: Bonnie Carroll)
Students For Eco-Education and Agriculture is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Their mission is to educate students and the greater community about the farm origins of their food and agriculture’s contribution to our nutritional well-being. To learn more about the organization or donate please visit www.seeag.org.