wjfarm

What is a school farm?

In Uncategorized on July 28, 2010 at 1:19 am

There is no accepted definition, but our hope is that through growing with students and their families that we can learn how a school farm can benefit student learning and health. Walker Jones Education Campus made the decision to use a portion of the school’s campus for agricultural production. The over 8000 square feet of beds within six blocks of the U.S. Capitol is an experiment in what happens when a school makes growing food a priority. We welcome people to come visit and grow with us.

We have started to think about the benefits of the farm to our school, campus and neighborhood. The benefits include educational programming, food production, student health and well being, community outreach, farm design, and capital and capacity building.

Educational Benefits
– Creates hands on experiential and inquiry-based learning environment
– Connections to DCPS math, social studies, literacy and science standards
– Enhances school-based social-emotional curriculum (Responsive Classroom)
– Attached to forthcoming health and wellness educational programming

Food Production
– Farm will produces food and puts over 8000 square feet into agricultural production (more than 5 times the size of the White House garden)
– Growing pumpkins, collard greens, beet greens, kale, green beans, summer squash, and herbs at the request of the school and the suggestion of neighbors.
– Can grow figs, blueberries, raspberries and flowers within the next year

Health and Well Being
– Helps students understand where food comes from
– Allows students to positively impact surrounding environment
– Links to health and wellness initiatives currently administered at the school
– Potential to impact what food school serves students
– Provides example for how students, families and neighbors can grow their own food

Community Outreach
– Farm has potential to be community meeting place and neighborhood landmark
– Community members are involved and have contributed plants
– Teachers have been involved and are ready to incorporate into classroom
– Many neighbors are constantly asking about the farm and are excited about it and want to contribute
– Positive way for school to enhance campus
– Potential for campus to become more useful for neighborhood

Farm Design
– New use of campus to benefit Walker Jones students and families
– Thoughtful farm design made with the school, property and neighborhood in mind
– Input from DC residents and DC master gardeners
– Designed to produce food for school community

Capital and Capacity Building
– Shows that Walker Jones is actively adding new programming and campus improvements
– Project has potential to attract city-wide and national attention
– Can bring more resources and attention to the school and surrounding area
– Allows for school to have the capacity to increasing community programming and educational services

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