“At one time, this was all farm land,” says Patti Wood, her arms outstretched. Standing at the Dodge Family Farm at the historic Dodge Homestead at the head of the Mill Pond, she looks around at the group of two dozen first- graders visiting from Daly Elementary School, just a few blocks away. Eyeing the condominiums and industrial buildings nearby, they seem a bit skeptical. She goes on to explain that just about everything the Dodge family put on their table they grew or raised right here, including eggs, meat and honey.

“We are growing some of the same varieties of vegetables they would have grown back in the early 1700s when the Dodge brothers first came here,” she continues. “And we do it just the same way – completely organically!”

Patti Wood, founder and executive director of non-profit Grassroots Environmental Education which operates the Dodge Family Farm, then leads the children on a brief tour, pausing to look at some of the tomatoes, peppers, beans, squash, onions, cabbage, peas, kale, leeks, asparagus and eggplants in various stages of growth. The group stops by a stand of corn. Patti twists off an ear, removes the husk and takes a bite. The kids are surprised. Many have never been so close to a corn plant, let alone eaten it raw, right off the cob. They take small bites, and their eyes light up. “It’s amaaazing… and so sweet,” says one.

A highlight of the tour is a stop at the compost bins, where kids learn about one of nature’s most important cycles. Leaves, garden waste and kitchen scraps decompose here, creating a dark, nutrient rich material. This will be turned into the soil to help ensure a healthy crop next season. Millions of microscopic fungi, good bacteria and worms help the process along…no bags of fertilizer needed here!

Full Story: http://www.antonnews.com/portwashingtonnews/2008/