High Country Local First Awards ‘Farm to School’ Grant to Two Rivers Community School

Published Thursday, March 17, 2016 at 1:30 pm

The Two Rivers Community School has been chosen as a grant recipient for the High Country Local First ‘Farm to School Program’. The grant program is a combination of efforts between Lettuce Learn and High Country Local First to strengthen school garden programs across the High Country. The grant’s funding will assist the school’s thriving garden program’s Plant Propagation Project and Garden Coordinator. Representatives from the grant’s committee will award a check for $500 in March.

Students at Two Rivers Community School participate in the school's gardening program.

Students at Two Rivers Community School participate in the school’s gardening program.

The school’s goal for 2016 is to move towards a sustainable garden model building more meaningful and lasting connections with local area growers, producers, and markets. Megan Brown, Garden Coordinator, says, “We will learn from local experts as we shape our garden into a small organic vegetable farm in order to allow students to develop a deeper understanding of food sources and the business surrounding it.”

She continues, “We will start the 2016 season by working with Joanna Weintraub from Deep Gap Intentional Gardens (DIG) to understand the basics of starting seeds in a greenhouse. Joanna will offer her expertise teaching students an introduction to greenhouse principles, plant propagation techniques, seed anatomy and physiology, and soil preparation. Students will work to start the vast majority of our own seed starts for the TRCS garden. Seedlings will also be grown to sell during our annual Seedling Sale in the spring.”

Middle school students will manage the business side of the annual Seedling Sale and produce stand at the farmers market applying skills in budgeting, planning, advertising, and communication. They will also draft plans and build cold frames and low tunnels in order to extend our growing season.

In 2015, the school accomplished a goal of getting every TRCS student engaged in a garden-focused project. As the school moves forward it will develop and implement garden based learning experiences relevant to each grade level that will be consistent year after year. Within this model, a graduating 8th grader who began as a kindergartener at TRCS will have gone through a logical sequence of garden-based lessons providing a thorough understanding of how our food gets to our plate.

Founded in 2005, Two Rivers Community School is a tuition-free, K-8, public-charter school based in Boone, NC. The Two Rivers curriculum challenges students with dynamic learning experiences both in and out of the classroom. Academics are at the core of every opportunity provided with the expectation that students grow in both character and in intellect during their time at Two Rivers. This year the school’s enrollment is 178 students with enrollment open for the 2016-2017 school year. If you would like to learn more about Two Rivers Community School, please contact Beth Vossen at 828-262-5411 or email at bethv@trcsboone.org.

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