Burke-Memorial Elementary School Principal Amanda Luizzi is pleased to announce that the school's fourth grade students will once again be visiting the Medway Community Farm this spring to help grow various vegetables and herbs, while learning about farming and agriculture.
The partnership between the school and the farm was started over 10 years ago by fourth grade teacher LeeAnn Nash, who retired last year. This year, teacher Krysten Hickman will be leading the program.
"What started off as two classrooms visiting the farm has evolved into all fourth grade students at Burke-Memorial taking part in this comprehensive and educational experience," Principal Luizzi said. "The farmers do a fantastic job of teaching our students how a farm operates and all of the hard work and effort that goes into growing something from a seedling and later selling it at the farm stand."
As part of the school's community service learning project requirement, all 168 fourth graders will go to the farm four times this spring, beginning this week.
Students will learn about how a farm operates, the science behind how plants grow and the importance of such skills. They will plant several herbs and vegetables, tend to them as they grow and then harvest them. In the past, students have grown bok choy, radishes, kale, kohlrabi, beets and lettuce.
The program ends in June with the students washing their harvested veggies and herbs, preparing the food for sale and then selling their harvest at the farm stand. Students will hand out recipes for the food they've grown and learn about customer service and helping patrons of the farm stand.
The partnership has been so successful that the school started a satellite garden on the school's campus. Each second grade and third grade class will plant a bed on the site so they can learn about farming and gardening basics prior to visiting the farm in the fourth grade. Teachers Danielle Witter and Nicole Ball lead the satellite garden program.
The program is generously sponsored by the Medway Elementary Parent Teacher Association.
From left to right: Orla Mulcahy, back, Emma Copeland, Adelle McLaughlin and Ellie McNeil showing off their harvest at the Medway Community Farm last year. (Photo courtesy Medway Public Schools)
From left to right, Jacob White, Logan Keaney and Dylan Thompson holding plants they helped grow as part of the Burke-Memorial Elementary School's partnership with the Medway Community Farm. (Photo courtesy Medway Public Schools)
A group of Burke-Memorial School fourth graders working at the Medway Community Farm last spring. (Photo courtesy Medway Public Schools)
From left to right: Eliza Dougherty, Alicia MacRury, Allyson Fagan, Sophia Baeta and Ronald Kerr. The students were working in the farm stand at the Medway Community Farm last year. (Photo courtesy Medway Public Schools)