Meet Your Farmer: TK Family Farm

Ever wondered how apples are grown in Western North Carolina? Join Natalie, Rylie, and JJ–the junior farmers at TK Family Farm in Rutherfordton, NC–for a kid’s perspective on growing apples and living on a farm. Hear about how farmers like the Klimstra family help to take care of their land, along with how apples are planted, grown, and processed for sale. JJ also shares his favorite things to do on the farm, plus tips for buying apples at the family’s self-serve farm stand!

This Junior Farm Tour video could be used as the starting point to explore many topics with students, including apples, how much space plants need to grow, plant parts (focus on fruits and seeds), nutrition/tasting new vegetables, or farm life. Find suggested Growing Minds lesson plans and resources to pair with this video below.

Journal Prompt

In the video, JJ says that “farms are all about taking care of stuff.” He mentions that picking the apples and feeding the chickens are some of the activities that he enjoys helping with on their farm. What kinds of things do you take care of at your house? Do you take care of any pets? Do you help care for younger siblings? Do you help with household chores? Why do you think it’s important to take care of things? Besides farming, what are some ways that kids can help take care of the land, plants and animals, and the environment?

Lesson Plans & Resources


Grades K-2

Grades 3-5

Additional resources

Apple-themed books to read

The Hayride: A Resource for Educational Farm Field Trips

Are you planning a field trip or outing to an apple orchard this fall? Many apple orchards in Western North Carolina begin opening to the public for u-pick in mid-August. This Growing Minds publication–The Hayride–can be used by educators, parents, and caregivers to plan fun and educational farm field trips. The resource contains tips for selecting a farm to visit and communicating with farmers, ideas for on-farm activities and classroom curriculum connections, and suggestions for what to bring on the field trip to ensure a memorable and successful visit.

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