Field to Fork is an unique outdoor learning experience for primary school children and young people’s groups at the Hirsel, Coldstream.
Come on a FREE visit and have your youngsters explore where their food comes from, discover how it is grown and be inspired to cook and eat healthily while enjoying being in an outdoor environment.
As well as our regular Food and Farming days which include a cooking activity, we offer In the Wild Days where both sessions are outdoors.
A typical visit involves:
We can accommodate a maximum of 40 children per visit and have disabled facilities
It may be tempting to stay cosied up indoors this winter weather but if we pick our moment, dress up warm and get out, there is an amazing amount to see and enjoy outdoors in nature. Our latest series of videos take you around the Hirsel noticing what there is to see and then focus on different aspects of the natural environment in this season. We hope they inspire!
Winter at the Hirsel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEAjj_5utgU
Feed the Birds: https://youtu.be/x60SH6RGTq8
Animals in Winter https://youtu.be/iuJ1eLZWxsQ
Tree Shapes: https://youtu.be/QVEtL2NW0G4
Take a look at 3 new videos that have joined the Field to Fork collection. This time for Christmas, some decorations to make from what can be foraged and found in and around school grounds.Being made of natural materals they are more sustainable, kinder to the planet than those of glitter and tinsel and cost very little!
A 5 point Stick Star:
A Twig Tree Hanging:
An Evergreen Wreath:
To follow our 'Autumn at the Hirsel' video, we are pleased to share further videos to support outdoor learning and make the most of this glorious autumn season and all its treasures:.
'Make a Story Stick' : https://youtu.be/Bam0wUUkSuA
'Autumn Treasures' : https://youtu.be/dW3viidUlx4
'How trees disperse their seeds' : https://youtu.be/SIqAIL1uM3M
So exciting!! Field to Fork is live on YouTube!
We may not be able to have you visit, or indeed visit you, but follow this link to bring a Field to Fork visit into your classroom and explore 'Autumn at the Hirsel' virtually. This will hopefully be followed soon with a series of lesson ideas to make the most of outdoor learning opportunities in this wonderful season.
In a normal year, we would be busily booking classes in at this time for visits to explore 'Harvest' - a busy and important time on the Hirsel farms as the cereals, oil seed rape, potatoes and beans are gathered in and some of next year's crops are sown. Sadly of course this is unable to happen so we have put together a 'Cereal Harvest Pack' that can be used in school to support crucial learning around where our food comes from, what is produced in our local area and how. To receive this pack please email. You will find some harvest photos in the gallery.
While we are sadly not able to welcome classes to the Hirsel, it's great to see youngsters engaging with our weekly challenges at home. The 'Things to do with Sticks' theme prompted some fantastic creations with stick towers, names written in sticks, some mathsy things, tied picture frames and cheesy sticks to eat. Well done to all, its great to see your imaginative ideas. More photos can be seen in the gallery
Over the autumn we have welcomed our friends at Border Links for various visits. They enjoy a short walk out to appreciate the beautiful surroundings of the Hirsel and take in the changes of the season. This time of year is great for foraging so we made collections of colourful leaves, seed heads, nuts and feathers to arrange in a piece of artwork once back indoors. A cooking activity rounds off the day and is always popular.
This winter Food from Scotland has been the popular topic for in-school visits linking with Burn's celebrations and wider Scottish contexts. Following a Powerpoint explaining what crops are grown on the Hirsel farms, many hundreds of oatcakes have been baked as a quick and easy traditional recipe. This was made all the easier thanks to the generous donation of a 25kg bag of oatmeal from John Hogarth Ltd in Kelso - the potential for a lot of oatcakes! (Impressively there is only around 5 kg left!) Throught these visits pupils learnt the story of oats, a grain well suited to the Scottish growing conditions, from field to fork, realising there are various stages in the process involving farm, mill and factory. Where baking facilities were not available in school, Kale Soup is a favourite!
As with everyone else our summer term plans have gone by the board - just when bookings were coming in well, Coronavirus put a spanner in the works! However all is not lost as we have plenty ideas for activities which can be done at home, outdoors, in the garden or out on daily walks to explore the world around us. Each week we are emailing out around 5 themed activities suitable for any age and almost anywhere - a recipe is often included. To receive these activities contact email@example.com. We hope they are useful and enjoyable, helping youngsters to connect to our amazing natural world and appreciate what is on their doorstep.
This autumn we hosted two Estate Days for High School year groups in conjunction with RHET. On the first we welcomed around 60 S2 pupils from Jedburgh Grammar School while the following day 90 S3 pupils from the Berwickshire High School took part. The youngsters explored various aspects of estate life through a forestry workshop provided by Fountain Forestry, a river life session by The Tweed Foundation, farming provided by Alistair Hodge and Lesley Mason of RHET, the Douglas Fold of Highland Cattle by Allan Telford, gamekeeping by Craig Birkett the gamekeeper, in which he showed them how to prepare pheasant for the table, and ourselves at Field to Fork baking bread and cooking and tasting the pheasant gougons! The pupils had a fantastic day, huge thanks to our providers, and took home with them a tree sapling kindly donated by Cheviot Trees.
We are thrilled (as you can see!) to have been announced winners of the Scottish Land and Estates 2018 'Helping it Happen' education award at a ceremony held at the Balmoral Hotel, Edinburgh recently. We have always been very proud of what we offer at Field to Fork but it is fantastic to have the huge commitment of the Estate, who fund this project, acknowledged at a National level. We are grateful to schools for their support and hope we can continue to develop what we do in order to connect more children to what goes on in the countryside and where their food comes from.
Although winter may have its grip on the Hirsel, as elsewhere, with ice on the lake and short dark days, you will still be assured of a warm welcome at Field to Fork! However an in-school visit might be more appealing - please get in touch if you would like to find out more about workshops. It won't be long before we are seeing the first signs of spring.
Primary 7 from Edenside made Stuffed Baked Potatoes as they explored getting the balance right between the energy we consume from food and the energy our bodies use. Outdoors they looked at the crops we grow for energy - as carbohydrates and as fuel, and thought about the energy required to grow them.
Our Food and Farming days can cover any aspect of food and farming you would like – we are happy to tailor visits to meet your curriculum needs and can fit well with your Health Week or Eco Schools campaign. Alongside these we offer In the Wild days. These days might focus on Woodland Habitats, Food Chains, Mini-beasts or Using our Senses Outdoors for example. On these visits both sessions will most likely be outdoors ie there is no cooking activity.
Further examples of themes we can cover are:
Healthy Eating, Being Healthy and Active, Where our food comes from, Food journeys, Food from Scotland, Growing your own, Seasonal Eating, Food and the Environment (Food miles/Food waste/Composting/ Recycling), Sustainable Futures, Fairtrade, Food and Farming in the World War 1 or 2, Farming in the Past, Farming in Victorian Times, Farming and the environment, Plants, Lifecycles, Mapping at the Hirsel, Wild Art, The John Muir Award, Outdoor Games