19th – 23rd September 2022, Loutí, Czech Republic
Organized by AMPI (Association of local food initiatives)
How to teach children and young teenagers to really understand the whole story of one crop and at the same time let them understand deeper agroecological connections through enjoyable playtime? We decided to find an answer with a crop that is beloved all around the world but most of us don’t know its amazing story and how it gets on our table – the Strawberry.
In the second week of September, we organized a whole week in the beautiful ecological centre south of Prague for 22 pupils of various age (5 – 12 y.o.). These young explorers get out of their classical school routine and busy Prague rushes to follow the magnificent journey of Rudolf Strimpl – a man, who introduced garden strawberries to Czechia in the late 19th century. His story led us in a playful way through the importance of quality soil, all types of strawberry planting, growing, harvesting, and processing, their production in both ecological and conventional ways and all the products and benefits we as humans gain from them. We took care of the bees and reminded their role in the natural world and recreated a big strawberry feast with dancing, music, and small theatre plays.
One of the biggest potentials of the place Loutí, where this event was held, was the proximity of the original region the garden strawberries were first introduced. That’s why we could also organize a trip to the farm of Rudolf Strimple and let children touch the ground, feel the place and try to understand why he decided like this and what the differences are between strawberry farming then and now.
Using various non-formal methods from role-playing, drawing, team works, gamification or just simple participation in making natural tea just from forest strawberry leaves enabled necessary learning experience for children without letting them bored or over-filled with new knowledge. Combined with free time in surrounding nature children left the place full of unique experiences proving it in their small handmade diaries.
Project ID: 2020-3-CZ01-KA205-094097