Ridge and Valley Charter School students participate in a number of garden projects throughout each year. They save seeds for planting, tend to various gardens and orchard, and ultimately harvest a variety of fruits, vegetables, and herbs. This past season they harvested a bountiful tomato crop. Sixteen quarts of tomatoes were harvested, blanched, peeled, and frozen this fall by students. As they studied food systems, the students explored ways to share their abundant harvest and make an impact on the food system in our area. While furthering their learning of food systems, these middle school students reached out to help the food insecure in our area.
Making Local Connections
During their quest to donate the organic food grown in their garden and volunteer at a local soup kitchen, the students connected with a local Blairstown establishment, Buck Hill Brewery and Restaurant, to prepare food for donation in the restaurant’s board certified commercial kitchen. A date was set, and delicious tomato soup was made with guidance from Buck Hill’s head chef. Chef Brett shared his expertise and tricks of the trade with the students. The organic and locally grown tomato soup was shared with Manna House in Newton. Many of the students also participated in serving the meal, as well.
Ridge and Valley Experiences Provide Students with a Sense of Purpose
This experience added a sense of authentic purpose to the students’ work, as well as enhanced their experience learning to grow food and study of systems. Ridge and Valley Charter School is grateful to Buck Hill Brewery and Restaurant and Manna House for their willingness to partner with our students in their efforts to make a difference.