Class examines dilemma at upstate farm

 by Katherine Capulong, staff reporter

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After reading chapters fillled with corn sex, McDonald’s anecdotes and wit, Ms. DeStefano’s AP Language and Composition class made a visit to a farm upstate in order to connect what they read in “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” to a farm modeled after Joe Salatin’s, a man whose farm was described in great detail throughout the novel.

“After reading ‘The Omnivore’s Dilemma,’ it was an amazing opportunity to experience sustainable farming practices firsthand,” English teacher Ms. DeStefano said.

On the farm sits a restaurant that uses the farm as a resource for their produce. The class prepared their lunch in the restaurant, but first grabbed ingredients from the farm. They collected eggs from where the chickens and hens were housed. In the greenhouse, where seven different types of spinach are grown, the students picked their own spinach. The farmers showed how they experimented with certain varieties of greenery, one experiment being purple snow peas.

Walking around the farm, students saw pigs and sheep, who were kept in different spaces by age, which is also a determining factor in their slaughter.  The other factors include weight, body, and conditioning. The wool of the sheep gets sold, like the other products grown on the farm, the sale of which was usually kept local instead of shipping off products, which would make the products have a shorter shelf life in the consumer’s home according to the tour guide.

The students cooked omelettes in the restaurant’s kitchen from the eggs and spinach they picked, and as it came to an end, many talked of going back to see the farm on their own during the summer.

“It was really interesting to be introduce to such a healthy lifestyle and it made me think twice about where I want to buy my food in the future,” junior Le Ann Mello said.

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