Teaching about beans for Ag Literacy Month

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Ontario grows a lot of beans!

And there’s a new resource for teachers and educators in Ontario, because agricultural literacy is a good thing: AgScape, working with the Ontario Bean Growers, is launching a new Teachers’ Guide called “Exploration of Dry Bean Farming” for Ontario students in grades 4-10.

Created in 1991, AgScape is a charitable organization providing objective, fact-based and curriculum-linked resources to Ontario schools on agriculture, food production, environmental sustainability, and related topics.

The new resource engages students with hands-on lessons to learn the nutritional benefits of beans, potential career opportunities and exploring the innovations and technology used by Ontario bean farms.

It’s interesting to note that there are approximately 1,000 farmers growing an average of 120,000 acres of dry edible beans annually, from the Harrow-Windsor area in the west of southern Ontario to the Ottawa valley.

The Guide addresses the role bean farmers play as stewards of the environment and provides educators with an overview of the industry, answering questions around what does farming Ontario beans look like and what does it mean for the health and sustainability of our province.

“Looking at it from an industry perspective, it is important for us to highlight the many opportunities available in the agri-food sector. Imagine if, unbeknownst to us, a future bean breeder or weed scientist, or plant pathologist, is among the students exposed to our resources, and that exposure is what lights the spark for them to take that path,” said Jennifer Mitchell, project manager at Ontario Beans Growers.

Ontario grows 120,000 acres of beans (Image/Wikimedia Commons).

“While working on this resource, my own family has deepened its appreciation of this amazing, versatile food. Learning how to use dry beans in our cooking has expanded our own food journey and encouraged our kids to become more curious about trying the foods grown right here in Ontario,” said Shaunna MacQuarrie, AgScape project assistant and an Ontario teacher.

Educators interested in receiving this resource can register for AgScape’s Teacher Resource Packages at here.

[Banner image/ Ontario Bean Growers]

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