Conceptualized in the fall of 2015 and implemented in spring of 2016, the BFA Farm to School program has flourished. Our team of student leaders have worked to engage our community and school in the world of sustainable agriculture. The Farm to School program at BFA has become very important to our community and our students. The commitment and drive of our students is evident every single day
Our program at BFA is based on partnering our school and the local community in creating a multifaceted sustainable school farm. We cultivate a 4000 square foot garden for the high school and three 1000 square foot gardens for the elementary and middle schools. We also have eight apple trees which will soon become an apple orchard, have planted one hundred asparagus plants, and thirty berry bushes. Each day we compost food from every classroom. Having pollinators is a big part of agricultural sustainability, so we also maintain two bee hives. We host a Facebook page, BFA-Fairfax Farm-to-School Program to inform the community about the progress on our entire farm. We have over 400 members! They follow the efforts of students in the outdoor and indoor classroom along with our Leadership Council and their fundraising efforts.
Education in our FTS program goes beyond the logistics of sustainable farming and maintaining crops. The class also helps to host an annual Harvest Dinner. In fall 2018 we served 200 community members in our second annual event. Ninety percent of the food was seeded, grown, harvested, cooked, and served by FTS students. The classroom curriculum also tackles food security, nutrition, and food justice, throughout the world and within our own community. We connect everything to the UN sustainable development goals (SDGs).
New to our program is a global communication project based in Kenya that was introduced to us in May of 2018. We have contacted and discussed mutual goals we share for our communities. We hope to learn from each other's issues and concerns. Here in Fairfax we have two groups working with two different schools in Kenya on separate UN SDG’s. Our group is still working on our communication link to a small school in Rodi, Kenya. This rural community located near Lake Victoria faces parallel agricultural problems with the ones here in Fairfax. Beyond our missions to work on the SDG’s we hope to make meaningful connections between students on each side of the world. We aspire to educate all of our students here at BFA Fairfax about their responsibility as citizens of the world. We have just made a first of many communications with our partner school, and with backing from our school we wish to find the same support from our community.
Anna Skerrett and Caitlin Allan are leaders of the Farm to School Program and Seniors at Bellows Free Academy in Fairfax, Vermont