The Dexter Farm to School program engages students all year long.
Last spring, the Dexter Schools Garden Boosters started a project to help kindergarteners look forward to starting school in the fall. Children who attended Kindergarten Open Houses received a poem and a packet of sunflower seeds. The children were told to plant the seeds at home. When the flowers bloomed, they would know it was time to start school. Several families shared pictures of their young gardeners.
The Dexter Schools Garden Boosters are part of of the Dexter Farm to School program, which is supported by the Chelsea Area Wellness Foundation and the Dexter Wellness Coalition. Farm to School has several ongoing initiatives to connect students to healthy, homegrown foods. Another such program is the Sullivan Memorial Garden at Dexter High School.
This summer, the Sullivan Memorial Garden hosted a trial CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program with help from two DHS International Baccalaureate students. Local families were invited to financially support the garden in exchange for produce. One family of four purchased a “share” of the garden for $150. They received 12 weekly harvests from June through August. Extra harvests were donated to Faith In Action. Farm to School Coordinator Caitlin Joseph said this year’s garden could have supported at least one more family. She hopes to grow the number of CSA shares available next year by recruiting more volunteers.
“I’ve met all four of my goals!”
The family who participated in the CSA this year recently posted a thank you note to the group. It reads, in part, “This was the first CSA my family has ever participated in. My purpose of joining the CSA was to:
1) Try new vegetables/produce that I would not have normally purchased at the grocery store.
2) Introduce my picky daughters (ages 4 and 6) to the gardening process in hopes they would be more willing to try different vegetables.
3) Learn new recipes to prepare the vegetables for my family.
4) Learn how to prepare the vegetables for storing over the winter (freezing).
I feel I have met all 4 of my goals!”
You can read more about DFTS programs on the Farm to School website, as well as learn about volunteer opportunities. All photos supplied by Dexter Farm to School.