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Parent Letter, Lunch at the Ranch

Parent Letter

Dear parents and/or guardians,

   Your child(ren) will be visiting Elkus Ranch Environmental Education Center on ____________________ to participate in our Lunch at the Ranch program. The ranch is located just south of Half Moon Bay, only a couple miles inland from the ocean. Elkus Ranch is a working farm where we raise sheep and goats and also have chickens, rabbits, horses, donkeys, a llama, and occasionally, pigs. There are several gardens where we grow a variety of fruits, vegetables, flowers and herbs. We are surrounded by open space and frequently encounter wildlife. While the ranch is fully accessible, your child (and the adults serving as chaperones) will have several opportunities to venture off the paved surfaces to take advantage of many exciting hands-on learning opportunities. After collecting fruits, vegetables and herbs in the gardens, your child will participate in making a complete meal for lunch guided by our staff and parent chaperones. To insure your child can fully participate, please note the following:

  Waivers are required for all participants including parent chaperones, teachers, and siblings. Your teacher will provide a copy for your signature or you may download a copy from our website. Please note your child will not be allowed to participate without a signed waiver. http://ucanr.edu/sites/elkus_ranch/http___ucanrorg_sites_elkus_ranch_/Waiver_Form_/


  The ranch is located on the coast where the weather can be unpredictable and conditions may change dramatically during your visit. Please have your child wear closed-toe shoes that can get dirty and wet. This is not the trip to wear their favorite new shoes. Help your child dress in layers with a water-proof/resistant jacket as the top layer. It may be foggy and drippy when you arrive only to have the sun come out and temperatures soar by lunch time. Sunblock is always a good precaution too.


  Your child will be preparing a full meal for lunch that includes a vegetarian pizza, salad with dressing, and a fruit and grain based dessert. Lunch is typically ready by 12:30 p.m.   However, we encourage teachers to time their arrival so the children can eat a quick snack from home before the program begins.   Please insure your child eats breakfast as well. The program is physically active and when stomachs start to growl children’s attention begins to wane. Chaperones please note there is no prepared food for sale at the ranch so plan to bring your own snack and water too. Lunch is included for chaperones and teachers.


  Please inform your child’s teacher about any food allergies.  We are happy to share a list of ingredients and products we use in the program with at least one week notice.   You are welcome to provide specific accommodations that will help your child participate in the program (i.e., gluten free pizza crust, dairy free cheese, etc.). Please note our kitchen is not gluten free.


 To download this letter please click on, Parent Letter LaTR[5017]