My blog has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 6 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.

Last week, Whole Foods Petaluma hosted a special field trip for 40 Old Adobe School first graders. Led by teachers Ms. Brown and Ms. Stoep, the children engaged in a community classroom experience complete with cooking lessons, a worm composting demonstration, and a store tour.

Whole Foods' Melissa Mueller organized a “make-your-own-pizza” and “make-your-own-snack-mix” cooking lesson for the eager students who happily devoured their self- made lunches. Parent volunteers and teachers ate heartily as well, showing their agreement with a student who reflected “Pizza that you make yourself tastes better than any other pizza.”

Thanks to a grant from Waste Management, Heidi Stewart of the Sonoma County Master Gardeners demonstrated how “kids + worms + dirt = fun” with a worm composting demonstration. Some insights the children gleaned include: “Worms have five hearts!” “Earthworms can’t live if they get broken in half.”

The field trip also included a tour of the Petaluma Whole Foods Market. Gaining a new perspective of a grocery store’s functioning, one excited student exclaimed, “The freezer is big enough to walk into!” The students additionally learned about Whole Foods’ environmentally friendly measures, including careful packaging choices and pesticide prevention. Student quotes such as “if the plastic crinkles its trash” or “the organic food grown without chemicals does not ever touch the food grown with chemicals” reveal some of the first graders’ broadening understanding.

With Whole Foods' outstanding leadership and generosity, local children learn important life values such as healthy food choices and environmental protection measures; but it isn’t a just the kids who benefit. “Hosting these tours and activities brings such a warmth and joy to our team members. It gives us a chance to show people that we are more than just a grocery store, we are a community,” observes Melissa.

Interested in coordinating your own worm composting demonstration or school worm bin?  Contact the Sonoma County Master Gardeners at (707) 565-2608 to find out how they can help your school.   Taking on such a project requires a classroom commitment to feeding the worms and maintaining the soil (students feed the worms leftover scraps, toss in bits of recycled paper for bedding, and water frequently).  Heidi Stewart also reminds school groups, "The worm box does need some small amount of maintenance during the summer, so of course can't be left in the class with the rest of the supplies!".  She suggests a family volunteers to take the bin home over the summer. 

Those who want to try worm composting at home, can let the Summerfield Waldorf High School student Alliance for Climate Education group (a recent benefactor of Whole Foods Sebastopol’s Enviro¢ents program) teach you how to build a bin (video below). Download the full project at:

Start a Worm Compost Bin with Summerfield Waldorf High School Students from ACE Space on Vimeo.

Would you like a tour of a local Whole Foods Market? In addition to schools, the Petaluma market warmly welcomes a variety of tour groups, including teachers, parents, preschoolers, social or professional clubs, special diets, seniors, and other groups. To schedule your FREE tour, simply email (Free lunch is provided for any group of 4 or more people.)


Related Posts with Thumbnails