The Urban Agriculture Class at CHS

Posted by on Oct 18, 2017 | Comments Off on The Urban Agriculture Class at CHS

The Urban Agriculture Class at CHS

Typically, heading into a new school year, there is much work to be done to clean up a school garden.  We have to pull summer weeds, pull out the fading lettuces and vines, and mulch the pathways among many other tasks.  However, as you read in the August newsletter written by our fabulous interns, we had some amazing help around all the school gardens this past summer.

Thanks to the work our interns did, our garden at Charlottesville High School was in tip top shape and ready to host this year’s three classes who use the garden on a daily basis.  This year, I am teaching a Garden to Market class as I have been doing for the previous three years and thanks to creative partnering with Charlottesville City Schools, we were able to create a new course called Entrepreneurship Education Urban Farming in the Career Technical Education department and we had enough student interest to field two sections in the first year!  

This newest development has been a dream come true for many of us as it helps fulfill a vision of a comprehensive K-12 gardening program where students can take all of their experiences from their time in the school gardens and can enroll in high school courses which will provide them with real world job skills and leadership development which can lead to internships, work experience, and careers in a wide variety of food-related careers.

City Schoolyard Garden is playing a unique and vital role in the development of this program.  During Virginia’s Farm to School week, CSG helped my classes host events during lunches.  We held a fruit tree planting party one day, welcomed over 60 students and staff to the garden one day to visit with the chickens, and gave away a ton of fresh vegetables during lunch for the Harvest of the Month the next day. We are also getting our weekly Garden Crew off the ground this year.  Many students have been staying after school to help in the garden and this club will be developing throughout the year as we pursue high-interest topics such as hydroponics, urban livestock, and food justice.  

It has become clear to me that with the creative and collaborative relationship City Schoolyard Garden and Charlottesville City Schools shares, the sky is truly the limit.  I’m excited to go to work each day knowing that we are building something new that will make a lasting impact in the lives of so many of our students.