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Forsythe Family Farm featured in Local Food Report 2021

COURTNEY McCLURE, for The Standard

UXBRIDGE: Forsythe Family Farms is being featured in Ontario’s Local Food Report this year.

“It [the Ontario Local Food Report] was to highlight ‘food literacy,’” explained Mrs. Forsythe. “It’s one-way farms have been trying to reach out during Covid.”

Leslie and her family developed their educational program last spring. They wanted to bring what they do on the farm to video and create activities for school children to learn more about farming.

Forsythe Farm offers a wide variety of educational programs for children. Teachers must sign up on The Forsythe Family Farm website in order to buy the package for their class. Signing up also gives them access to the program videos and lessons.

Kids can enjoy the sights and sounds of the local farm, located in Uxbridge, through virtual field trips. Jim and Leslie Forsythe have created these packages to allow kids to explore and experience their farm, as if they were there on the property. Throughout their trip, kids can learn about food and where their food comes from.

But there are more than just videos available as an educational resource for the classroom. According to Leslie Forsythe, newsletters about the farm and activity sheets for the kids are included within the packages. Mrs. Forsythe said this gives teachers an easy way to access agricultural information.

While creating the packages, Leslie and her family tried to meet the Ontario school’s curriculum and expectations. Their goal with the programs is to bring the farm to the kids and make it relevant to their lives. “Our job, mainly, is making it [the lessons] visual and making it fun, so it’s not just sitting there saying ‘This is a chicken, and this is a sheep’,” explained Leslie.

“[The most rewarding part is] the kids, the joy they have connecting with the farm and getting away from technology,” explained Mrs. Forsythe.

If you’re considering a career in farming, Leslie said there are many opportunities available in the agricultural field. “Find an area you’re interested in and follow your dream,” she advised.

Her husband, Jim, was a first-generation farmer. He grew up in Toronto but always had an interest in becoming a farmer.

“Farming isn’t just what you see on the farm… there’s SO much more involved in the background,” she added.

Mrs. Forsythe said, once pandemic restrictions have lifted, more families should spend some time at a local farm, “The farm is such a natural place for people to get outside and enjoy being together.”

There are plenty of farms in Durham Region to visit.

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