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Sweet Potatoes, Pumpkins and Sunn Hemp, Oh My!

Each year during the fall harvest season, public schools from all around North Florida send youth to the annual Fall Harvest Experience located at the North Florida Research and Education Center-Suwannee Valley* in Live Oak. In addition to hosting student participants from public schools, 4-H members from around the region have also been invited to attend on a special day planned just for 4-H-ers. The Fall Harvest event includes an experiential learning rotation for each of three topic areas: pumpkins, sweet potatoes, and a forage maze. The 2017 event is taking place this year from October 23th – November 9th.

What happens at the Fall Harvest Experience?

At the event, youth will engage in an active learning experience centered around nutrition, production, and marketing of the sweet potato and pumpkin. Other aspects of the event include maneuvering through a maze, which is a blend of sesame, sunn hemp, sorghum, millet, and sunflowers. The students will view  the fall plant scenery and learn about each of the crops blended together to form the unique maze. Students will also have the opportunity to visit the field and select an ornamental pumpkin or gourd to take home. In addition, students will be provided a bag of sweet potato chips for sampling when they return to school.

“The Fall Harvest Experience was a wonderful destination for our class field trip. The students learned about the importance of agriculture, both locally and globally. The instructors did a great job explaining the science behind growing crops and the process of getting our food from farm to table. Most importantly, all learning stations had hands-on activities which kept my students engaged and enthusiastic! Thank you for a super experience!”

-Mrs. Laura Katherine Roberts, Suwannee Elementary School, 2nd grade

For more information and updates on this year’s Fall Harvest Experience, check the UF/IFAS Extension Blogs page Suwannee County.

*formerly known as the Suwannee Valley Agricultural Extension Center – SVAEC in Live Oak, FL

UF/IFAS Extension in Suwannee County is an Equal Opportunity Institution.

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