IN the waning days of last summer, Brie Casadei stood at the edge of several raised garden beds and pointed. “This huge plant, anyone know what it is?” she asked a dozen or so elementary-school-aged children around her.
“That’s the basil,” she said, answering herself. “That’s what we’re going to use to make our pesto.”
That didn’t exactly clear things up; both the basil and pesto were new to nearly every child within earshot of Ms. Casadei on that buggy August morning. No surprise, perhaps, in an age in which computer-game-centric children think milk, eggs and potatoes come from a store. It is also why, in 2005, Ms. Casadei and her husband, Ethan Grimes, started their farm camp, Terra Firma.
“We had five kids,” Ms. Casadei said of their first two-week trial camp.
Now with the winds of the local food movement, food safety concerns, out-of-control obesity and outcry over things like “pink slime” at its back, Terra Firma has several hundred summer campers, ages 3 through 12, many coming for multiple weeks across a nine-week summer season.