The Farm Integrated Environmental Learning & Development (F.I.E.L.D) Initiative
A pilot program for the AOS 91 school district in creating a sustainable farm to school curriculum and providing agricultural infrastructure to Mount Desert Island High School. Garden and environmental science basics coupled with hands-on learning will give students a base understanding of how plants develop, are cared for, harvested and used in meals. By partnering with local farms on Mount Desert Island, we will have greater access to land for students to learn about larger scale farming techniques and practices. Aiming to supplement the school lunch program, we can focus on well known ingredients that are easily accepted by young students and are used in a range of snacks and meals. These high value crops put a strain on school lunch budgets, and they often lack a consistent production throughout the year. The F.I.E.L.D Initiative addresses the school budget for local produce, and implements skills based education that provides students with a memorable experience.
A Farm to School Program that will teach students Valuable Skills
The curriculum is seasonally based, cultivating soil, starting seeds, transplanting, using hand tools, observing, note taking, harvesting, and preparing food to eat are all included. Classes discussing the soil food web, fungi, and compost will prepare students for the coming season. As spring sets in, we will prep growing mediums, amend the soil, and learn how to start seeds and care for immature plants. Students will be encouraged to visit the farm over their summer break, work on their community service hours for graduation, and partake in the bounty they have created. As students return from break, they will enjoy the harvest season, plant fall crops, and plan for the upcoming year. In winter classes, we will teach the basic principles and background knowledge for new students, and develop independent and group goals for the upcoming season. Starting out the new year, observational sketching, planning the garden, and taste testing experiments can help fill the low growing periods of winter and refine the program as it moves forward.
From a curriculum designed by teachers, farmers and community members.
The F.I.E.L.D Initiative committee works to share the responsibilities of the program coordination and planning. By pooling time, land and resources, we can create a cost-effective program that delivers a comprehensive learning environment, while feeding and engaging students on a deeper level. Are you a parent or community member who feels strongly about skills-based education? Contact Us to let us know your thoughts on curriculum topics, time requirements, resource allocation, or volunteering for the planning committee. We ask for feedback and support from all business and family members that wish to contribute to a more sustainable community.