(Contributed photo)

WATSONVILLE — Education is key at Farm Discovery. Over the years, the Watsonville nonprofit organization, held at Live Earth Farm, has offered a number of programs, camps and events to inspire youth and their families to learn about agriculture.

Sprouts Camp, which is held for children 3 to 6 years old, is one of the organization’s annual events. This year it will be held June 26-30, from 9 a.m. to noon each day. Children can attend the camp alone or with their parents.

“We want kids to learn by way of their senses,” said Jessica Ridgeway, executive director of Farm Discovery. “We want them to see, feel, smell and taste their food to better understand it.”

Children and their families who participate in Sprout Camp will experience everything from planting and growing crops to nutrition and environmental stewardship. Campers can also interact with goats, cows and other farm animals on the site.

According to Ridgeway, Sprouts Camp is also just a good way to get young kids interested in being outside.

“Kids are most likely to develop a love of the outdoors if you expose them to it early on,” she said. “Being out here on the farm, with so much to see and do — they learn to embrace and enjoy it.”

Farm Discovery, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, is offering scholarships for Sprouts Camp, as well as all their programs. Currently, only half of this year’s scholarships have been claimed. Farm Discovery is reaching out to other organizations and schools in the Pajaro Valley to find recipients.

Junior Staff Members and Leaders in Training are also sought every year. Youth 14 years of age and older work alongside the education team to build experience working with younger children.

“Sprouts Camp is just one of the many camps we are putting on this summer, but it is definitely one of the most important,” Ridgeway said. “The kids are very young, and their world right now is very small. We want to open up that world.”

For information on Sprouts Camp and other Farm Discovery programs, visit farmdiscovery.org.

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