Garden-based education at Greens Farms Academy has recently expanded through its Seed to Table program. The program is now fully integrated into the Lower School curriculum and is steadily trickling up to the Middle and Upper Schools. Seed to Table inspires students to develop meaningful connections with the world around them through explorations in the garden, experiences with food, and investigating the many natural communities that surround the school. GFA makes the most of its backyard, including a salt marsh, beach, and Audubon woodland trails. In pairing edible education with these outdoor classrooms, students learn unique lessons theming environmental literacy, culture and global connections, creativity, and community. During the summer months, the program reaches preK-8th grade students from schools in Bridgeport, CT through Horizons National. Horizons students gain experiences that bring them closer to nature while learning strategies for better health and nutrition.
A highlight this year was when fifth graders harvested, threshed, winnowed, and milled their own wheat to make bread that they shared with their kindergarten buddies. Other Lower School successes include harvesting sea salt, building a sunflower house, exploring the scientific method with bean plants, and pickling for food preservation. Major plantings on school grounds have included 12 native trees and a native meadow to attract pollinators. Produce from the garden goes directly into school lunch and lessons involving cooking have produced fun projects like metric crepe day and harvesting GFA apples to make cider. To bring it full circle, GFA composts scraps from the kitchen to put nutrients back into the garden. The Lower School even has its own compost tumbler in the courtyard.
Seed to Table is growing minds, building confidence, and inspiring students to become impactful members of their community.
To learn about more Seed to Table stories, visit: http://garden.gfacademy.org