NORTHBRIDGE, Mass. – A treat awaited the kids who participated in Read Around The Town, which this week was held at Foppema’s Farm in Northbridge. A wagon ride took them through fields of corn, carrots, green beans and other vegetables.
More than 90 children went to the Hill Street farm Monday morning, ready to hear a talk about farming and to listen to story read by a farmer.
The ride in a wagon, pulled by a tractor driven by farm owner Ken Foppema, was a total surprise, Interim Schools Superintendent Nancy Spitulnik said. She initiated the summer reading partnership between the School Department and the Whitinsville Social Library.
So many children attended that Foppema took four turns around the field with a full wagon, showing the children some of what is growing at Foppema’s this summer.
Spitulnik, who went on the fourth ride, said she was thrilled with the turnout.
"Ken has such pride in his farm and is so great sharing his knowledge and enthusiasm with the children. During the ride, he stopped and gave us a lesson on growing corn, and also dug up the three different kinds of carrots they grow — the normal orange ones, rainbow carrots (yellow and white), and purple haze carrots, which are a purplish red," she said.
While the first group of children toured the farm on the wagon, Jody Ebbeling read “The Enormous Carrot,’’ written by Vladimir Vagin. She read the story a second time when the first load of wagon-riders returned.
In the book, it takes a team of friends working together to pull the enormous carrot out of the ground.
Foppema’s Farm, which also sells fruit and gift items, is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. It is closed Sunday.
Children who attend Read Around The Town receive a coupon for the Whitinsville Social Library, which makes them eligible for prize drawings.