Eggs-cellent, Award-winning Educational Opportunities at Moss Haven Elementary
There’s nothing fowl about urban farming and backyard chicken coops. In fact, it’s quite the trend now. In other words, people are flocking to become more organic and live a more sustainable lifestyle. Okay, enough of the bird puns!
Did you know, though, that Richardson Independent School District has incorporated urban farming and chicken raising into one of its school’s curriculum? Yes, Moss Haven Elementary in Dallas has an award-winning and nationally recognized farm!
Moss Haven Farm has been recognized as an American Heart Association Teaching Garden and has been awarded United Way’s Healthy Zone School. In addition, in 2014, Moss Haven was named in the Top 10 Healthiest Neighborhoods in Dallas/Fort Worth and in 2016, the farm won Best Egg in Show at the State Fair of Texas.
Led by Kim Aman, or “Farmer Kim” as she is known at Moss Haven, the farm started in March 2012 with the mission to encourage environmental awareness, nutrition and outdoor learning environment with math, science and reading. The farm currently has 23 raised beds, a farm field and a chicken coop with eight chickens.
In addition to experiencing the wonder of the entire food-growth process from seed and soil to families’ tables at home, the urban farming and chicken raising educational experiences teaches everything from life to death of animals, caring of animals, social change and even how to run a business. Many of these kids have never been around animals or even know what a whole vegetable looks like!
Speaking of social change, the Moss Haven kids have a Giving Garden, where harvested foods are donated to those in need. Since the garden's inception, more than 2,500 pounds of food has been donated to North Texas Food Bank.
Kids also learn an extremely important lesson about bullying. It sounds cliché, but there truly is a pecking order with chickens. Chickens are busy creatures that spend most of their day foraging. Sometimes, they get bored and look for things to do or pick on the weaker ones. This leads to bullying. The kids see this and come to the aid of the bullied chicken, teaching kids that neither chicken nor child should be bullied. We should protect one another.
Even after the kids graduate elementary school, many want to volunteer service hours by helping at the farm! How awesome is that?!
We love that Moss Haven Elementary and Moss Haven Farm are teaching healthy living and a happy heart!
A Peep at the Coop Fundraiser
May 7, 2017, 11 AM to 5 PM
Don’t stay cooped up this weekend! The weather looks to be beautiful, so it’s an eggs-cellent time to support education and urban farming.
A Peep at the Coops, a one-day tour of private urban chicken coops in East Dallas, features some of the most innovative coops for raising chickens in North Texas, and experts to answer questions about urban chickens. The family-friendly event also features a Country Market with local artisan and food vendors, community information booths, and performances from Lake Highlands HS Espree and Wranglers, local choirs and bands, and students from Zound Sounds. There are plenty of activities that the entire family will enjoy, along with yummy food trucks including One90 Smoked Meats, Guava Tree Food Truck, Scot’s Cafe Potato Bar, and Snowdrop Shaved Ice.
A Peep at the Coops is the largest fundraiser for Moss Haven Farm, a 501(c)(3) outdoor learning garden and STEAM curriculum enrichment for students located at Moss Haven Elementary. Moss Haven Farm is entirely supported by community and corporate support.
Tickets can be purchased online for $10/person or in person at Moss Haven Farm during the event. Kids under 12 are free. Children must be accompanied by an adult. The event is rain or shine and all ticket sales are final. Individuals who buy tickets online must start their tour at Moss Haven Farm to pick up a Peep map and wristband.
Moss Haven Farm
9202 Moss Farm Lane
Dallas, TX 75243
Moss Haven Farm Website: www.mosshavenfarm.org
A Peep at the Coops Website: www.apeepatthecoops.org
Interested in urban farming at your school and need guidance? Email Farmer Kim at firstname.lastname@example.org
Fine-Feathered Chicken Fun Facts
- Chickens will want to fly less if the owner / caretaker walks around backwards.
- If you have a fear of chickens, it is called ‘Alektorophobia’.
- Chickens love to talk and be social with other animals, with this, they tend to develop firm friendships too.
- Chickens almost lay an egg a day but on average lay 265 table eggs each year. Happy chickens lay more eggs.
- Chicken lay eggs according to their size – usually – the largest ever recorded egg was 340 grams in weight.
- There are more than 200 chicken breeds in the world, with most of them being rare or close to extinct.
- Chicken are omnivores, which means they eat both vegetables and meat.
- Chickens can cross breed with turkeys and the result has its own name, a ‘Turkin’ (no joke).