Jessica Howard

Hiland Hall School
Bennington, VT

Project Description:

Howard’s winning project, “Our School, Our Farm”, is a farm-to-school project developed for students at Hiland Hall School. The purpose of the program is to promote science in action while fostering an appreciation for the global food community, natural environment, and farming heritage. Through the multi-faceted initiative, students will explore topics from horticulture science to community-supported agriculture and concepts such as bioregionalism, and industrial farming. They will conduct soil analysis, compost food and garden waste, and construct raised beds. Participants will also start seeds and design and build a greenhouse. Another component of the project will involve the students harvesting and processing crops for use in the daily school snack and for donation to a food cupboard. At a local organic farm, students will design and plant a plot and collaborate with the staff to prepare and sell the produce to help further fund the project. As “Farm Ambassadors”, students will give tours to demonstrate farm practices and host workshops and student exchanges with other schools. Howard, who lives in North Bennington, hopes the program will expand the school’s “learn by doing” progressive mission by transforming students into teachers.