Feed It Forward: Yellow Farmhouse Education Center
Jennifer Rothman knows her way around a farm: Before working as the executive director of Yellow Farmhouse Education Center in Stonington, CT, Rothman was the education director at Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture in Pocantico Hills, NY, and the Vice President of Children's and Public Education at The New York Botanical Garden. She puts that expertise to good use at YFEC, where she teaches kids as young as 3 years old not only how to pull fresh produce from the soil but how to prep, cook, and, most important, share it with the ones they love, through farm tours, food-waste workshops, cooking, and more.
What was the inspiration behind the center?
The ability to actually spend time cooking and sitting down for meals is being lost in our society. This leads to a lack of understanding about where our food comes from and has a detrimental impact on our personal health, the health of our environment, and the health of our local economy. By providing culinary education and building awareness of how food gets to our table, we believe we can limit these impacts.
How do you see YFEC growing in the future?
Our next steps include building a curriculum for our local school district that ties classroom lessons to the land and the sea and to their local community. We want to encourage the teachers we work with to incorporate food and farming concepts into their classrooms, and share the bounty of our regional food system with people of all ages through learning opportunities.
Ultimately, what is your main goal for YFEC?
We want to spark dialogue to create meaningful change in how our food is grown, prepared, and consumed. Through cooking and eating together, we can build a model for supporting local agriculture and a healthier environment.