Springfield elementary school students getting a lesson in farming in Franklin County

Students are in charge of planting and harvesting crops, and feeding the animals

ASHFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)- It’s an opportunity you can’t get in a classroom.

4th Graders from Gerena School in Springfield will spend three-days at the Red Gate Farm in Ashfield, learning how a farm operates.

“They have an opportunity to do things here that they wouldn’t have the opportunity to do back in Springfield just because of the location,” said Kelsey Bishop, 4th Grade Teacher at Gerena School.

This is a hands-on experience. Students are in charge of planting and harvesting crops, and feeding the animals.

“I’m excited about working with the animals because I’ve grown up with a bunch of dogs,” said Desiree Gonzalaz, 4th Grade Student at Gerena School.

The students are camping out in tents, and are responsible for the campfires. They wake up at 6, and work until 5 each day.

These elementary school students are doing the tasks typically done by farmers this time of year and that include harvesting crops, like cucumbers, potatoes, and squash.

“I get to sleep over at the Red Gate Farm and I get to do a lot of fun jobs, like picking plants and stuff,” said Nelson Pagan, 4th Grade Student at Gerena School.

“Fall is harvest time that’s when a lot of things are coming in,” said Ben Murray, Farm Director of Red Gate Farm. “Putting down for the winter and getting supplies in from the harvest the garden getting the things you’ve been growing all season long.”

Students also repair the sheds and barns, collect firewood, and move animals. Red Gate Farm has been running these programs for the last 15 years.

Students from Springfield’s Mary Walsh School arrive Wednesday to begin their three-day outdoor adventure.