Getting to know our Farm to School

Vaylente O'Brien

Student farm-to-school interns garden and harvest the greens for school lunches. Senior Laine Sanders is this semester’s farm-to-school intern. She is using this as an independent study and earning credits in science for her internship. The farm-to-school program internship can get you credit and service hours, and this summer they are offering paid internships.

Sanders gave insight into how the program works and her duties. This semester, Sanders is caring for and planting mustard seeds and other plants. Later in the semester, she will harvest those plants. She also checks on the water system with her manager, Megan Randall.

“I like that I can work at my own pace.” Laine Sanders stated when asked what her favorite part of the internship was.

The garden manager, Megan Randall, was then interviewed. She gave good insight into how farm-to-school works and how anyone can become an intern. The Farm-to-School program is designed to increase access to local food and nutrition education to improve children’s health, strengthen family farms, and cultivate vibrant communities. This program also creates a new market and opportunity for food producers and businesses within their own communities. As said before, you can earn credit for your work in an independent study or through service hours, and Randall said that this upcoming summer they are offering paid internships if you are interested in these options, email Megan Randall at [email protected]. Randall described how the past four years have been extremely beneficial to the students, with last year’s interns Severn Sienkiewicz and Annika Coleman creating new farm-to-school meals that adhered to various dietary restrictions. Last semester, intern Remy Sexton worked and repaired the aquaponics system; now Laine Sanders is assisting in the planting of new batches of plants.

Lastly, when asked why local food is important, Randall stated, “It’s important to include local food in schools for several reasons.” First, we want to provide students with access to healthy food when they’re at school, and local food is often the best way to provide fresh, healthy ingredients for school meals. “We also think it’s important to be part of the economic support for local farmers and producers.”

So overall, the benefits from the student interns are needed and have been great.