The South Whidbey School District Farm and Gardens provide garden-based curriculum to over 550 children grades K- 5 at the Elementary School and South Whidbey Academy, and to grades 7 and 8 at the Middle School. They grow produce for school lunches, events, culinary programs and local non-profits (Good Cheer Food Bank and Whidbey Island Nourishes). The students also love to eat the fresh-picked veggies as part of their classes. South Whidbey is the first school district in the nation to deliver produce on a regular basis to a Chartwells-managed food service. This program is coordinated by Cary Peterson.
Our growing spaces include:
- The School Farm is a 1/2 acre growing space provides garden-based curriculum while also growing produce for the cafeterias, non-profits and classes. Students come weekly or bi-weekly with their teachers to the farm, a short walk away. The lively, hands-on curriculum is integrated K-5 and engages the students in growing the food while learning, and eating.
- Langley Middle School Garden, started in 2007, was expanded to 20 beds in 2015 and is cultivated as part of 7th grade science classes, and a Health and Wellness 7th grade elective. A new garden is being created by the 6th Grade science classes to provide more space for growing by students and increase production.
- South Whidbey Elementary School Garden is a tiny garden of raised beds cultivated by the students during garden recess that grows herbs, edible flowers and vegetables as edible grazing snacks.
- The Big ACRE (Abundant Community Resources for Everyone) is an acre farm on school district property adjacent to the Good Cheer Food Bank. It is collaboratively managed to grow produce for the Food Bank and to deliver produce to Chartwells for the school cafeterias.
Apprentices will assist the garden coordinator and teaching staff and then move into leadership roles in cultivating the gardens with the students, teaching garden-based curriculum, and delivering fresh produce to the cafeterias and non-profits. In 2016 there will be a Farm Production Apprentice and a Farm Curriculum Apprentice.