The LMS farming program engages students in all aspects of running a successful farm. Student farmers participate in a cross-section of all farm activities including seed starting, potting up seedlings, planting, weeding and pest management, watering, composting and soil building, harvesting, and distributing and selling the produce to the wider community.
The farming program continues to provide a natural platform for practical life skills and global citizenship. Additionally, farming sales and fundraising efforts help to ensure students are connected with the real-world economics of running a farm while helping to support the program itself. During COVID, growing at LMS has not slowed down. However, the remote farming curriculum in spring 2020 switched gears from students participating in hands-on school-grown vegetable production to learning about at-home gardening. Online classes and educational videos focused on encouraging small scale home food production through simple gardening how-to’s.
Summer 2020 brought renovation to the farming infrastructure at LMS. New compost bins and beautiful raised beds were installed in the back gardens behind the Jane Mack Elementary building. The new “Market Garden” has produced a steady diversity of crops that the Lower Elementary students have helped grow and harvest for our Farm Shares this fall. A Home-to-School composting program has also been launched with the UE students in charge of pioneering and leading the effort. Every ounce of food waste that goes into the compost is another ounce that doesn’t go to the environmentally destructive landfills - plus all that good compost helps us grow more local and organic food!
The past year has brought many smiles and beautiful insights both from nature itself and from the farming students. Many thanks to all the invisible microbes that make farming and life possible, and to the countless insects that pollinate our crops and help produce clean soil. Blessings to the water and rainfall that sustains our gardens, to the bright sun that powers the plants, and all the invisible forces that make farming and life possible.