Farm-to-Table Garden and Greenhouse
The Farm to Table project at Ulster BOCES’ Center for Special and Alterative Education (CSAE) gives at-risk students the opportunity to learn real-world science through planting and maintaining gardens and cooking with the produce they’ve grown. Knowledge of how to produce and prepare food is especially empowering for these students, as many deal with food-insecurity on a regular basis. Funds will be used to re-establish a functioning garden in the greenhouse attached to the science lab, expand the outdoor gardening space, and support field trips to farms and businesses in the community that add to students’ understanding of where their food comes from.
Farm to Table is a science elective class. Students apply scientific learning through activities such as measuring the temperature and humidity in the greenhouse; testing soil pH and chemical levels; and measuring temperature and pH to maintain food safety. Students are involved in building the raised garden beds, from measuring boards for cutting to screwing them together. Students use their literacy skills to research and report on plant growing needs; read and follow chemical testing and recipe directions; and write articles to share the program’s progress with the school and local community.
CSAE is comprised of several programs. There are middle and high school programs for students in need of behavioral and psychiatric support and for students on the autism spectrum. This is a place where crisis intervention and emotional healing take place. Garden projects have fostered a sense of community within the school, as students from several programs work with Farm to Table students to clear out the greenhouse, inventory supplies, and sand and paint shelving for plants.
Farm to Table provides valuable opportunities to learn and use science, literacy, and math skills in an authentic way to solve problems and enhance their school and community.
KGI is a nonprofit community of over 30,000 people who are growing some of our own food and helping others to do the same.
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