Located outside our South Philadelphia headquarters, the Novick Urban Farm hosts thousands of children from childcare centers and elementary schools each year. In the winter months, Head Farmer Jess Renninger takes the Farm on the road with in-class visits. The non-profit Farm is an authentic way for children to learn where food comes from and the importance of healthy eating.
Programming is led by Farmer Jess and Assistant Farmer Ally Schonfeld. Children explore their senses as they experience the farm, taking in the sounds, tastes, colors, scents and textures that are not part of their everyday life. Learning how food is grown is eye-opening for visitors of all ages!
Centers are responsible for their own transportation to and from the farm, located at 3660 S Lawrence St. Philadelphia, PA. Farm visits are scheduled for a 9:30 AM start and end at 11:30 AM
Ages 3-5 | Seeds of Discovery
Maximum group size: 30 students
These visits are based on Head Start principles and national early education curricula to promote the development of life skills through holistic nature-based learning. Games and activities will inspire wonder as they learn about plants, nutrition and healthy eating, all while developing respect for local farms and ecosystems.
Ages 6+ | Urban Farm Discovery and Investigation
Maximum group size: 40 students
The older students will engage in farm processes in a scaled-down version of “farm work” and participate in a taste-and-smell-tour, and in activities suited to their ability levels. Topics will include: compost, nutrition, insects and healthy environments.
The minimum group size per visit is 10 students. For larger groups or students from multiple locations, we recommend splitting visits over multiple dates.
What to expect when you visit:
Raised planting beds where children can practice their fine and gross motor skills as they dig, plant and water their own crops
Lessons and activities in nutritional concepts, plant life cycles, pollinators and more
The FUN A-Z method, by way of the Einstein Health Network, which is a hands-on experience that excites children to try new foods that they’re allowed to take home
What's in Season?
Plan your visit based on what’s happening on the Farm:
Students experience a seed sorting, planting and soil exploration station, and learn about plant life cycles, composting and healthy eating. Classes take home post-activity ideas and root-view seed cups for classroom observation
With the Farm in peak season, Farmer Jess educates students on the various components of a plant’s life cycle, composting, pollinators, harvesting and healthy eating. Students also learn how bugs actually benefit the Farm!
Come visit us while our fall vegetables are ripe and ready. Harvest and eat garden treats, collect leaves for leaf printing and other fall crafts, learn about season extension techniques and more!
For centers located with in 40 miles from the farm, you may request Farmer Jess to come to you for a nutrition lesson. Ideal for the colder months, the lesson includes a variety of hands on activities, tastings and plantings. In-Class Lessons last about 40 minutes and are targeted for one classroom at a time. The maximum number of students per classroom is 20. We can accommodate up to three classrooms per date (60 students).
All Farm Education lessons meet Pennsylvania Academic Standards and are designed based on the 5-E educational model for science exploration.
Prior to your trip, all scheduled visitors must read, sign and submit our Farm Visit Expectations Acknowledgement, which lists farm and staff expectations, directions, chaperone responsibilities and more.
Cancellation Policy:In the event you must cancel your Urban Farm visit, please let us know as soon as possible at urbanfarm@novickUF.org, so that we may offer your time slot to another group. Weather: Farmers Jess or Ally, or another member of Novick’s staff, will contact you to inform you of any cancellations due to inclement weather. Farm visits will still be held in light rain or other conditions. An in-class visit may be substituted at the time of a scheduled visit in cases of poor weather.