Farmer Tone Teaching at the Palm Beach Zoo

  • September 21, 2015
  • From our Students

By Joshua Lamothe

On September 12th I jumped at an opportunity to support Farmer Tone as he led a day of Organic Gardening classes for families attending the Palm Beach Zoo. When I was young one of my dreams was to be a zoologist and be around exotic animals. As an adult, my dream is to become an organic gardener, so this was an opportunity not to be missed.

Farmer Tone had organized for local TV Channel 18 to film him as he delivered his unique mix of education and showmanship and it didn’t take long for him to begin drawing a small crowd. Our plan was to make this day all about teaching children and I stood by with my own childish grin as he asked the kids questions like “where do tomatoes come from?” and got very self assured answers like “Publix!”  The kids ages ranged from two years old to about fourteen and Tone spoke to each one at their own level, asking questions, describing different local plants and herbs, showing them soil and even letting them hold some friendly worms, what kid wouldn’t love that!

I was inspired by their interest and engagement and I think their parents were too. For me, this is what I came to see. I wanted to observe for myself how kids respond to an enthusiastic and engaging teacher on a subject that is actually really important. I personally believe that without the right education provided to this latest generation we may truly lose one of the most vital elements of our health and the health of the planet – growing organic food and protecting natural food sources. Although a very cute answer, all of our kids need to have the basic knowledge that food doesn’t just come from the supermarket or a restaurant, but from the earth, that we need to protect it and that they can grow their own, starting as a family. Thankfully, this crowd’s participation gave me hope. As long as there are teachers like Tone and parents who care, we just might have the sustainable future that we must leave our children.

I am happy to support Farmer Tone as he travels wherever he can to deliver his simple but profound message to families in South Florida … grow food not lawn.

Watch the Video from Farmer Tone at the Zoo.


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