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MAC Mini-Grant Winners 2007

First Cycle   (April 2007)

Grant 1: Applying Health and Nutrition Concepts to New England Agricultural Products

Positive nutrition knowledge and behaviors are essential for proper development and growth. Applying nutrition concepts to food science and food preparation activities will result in long lasting and positive individual health behaviors. In addition, students will impart these concepts with other members of their family, which will help improve their nutritional choices. Food safety is an ever evolving science. Improved safe food storage, preparation and handling techniques will also result in positive changes in the health of consumers. Educating students about a healthy lifestyle, that includes fresh agricultural products, will help ensure that students of all ages make wise food choices. New England agricultural products can be incorporated into each food group in the New Food Guide Pyramid. The USDA Food Science Curriculum will help students see the dramatic results of unsafe food handling techniques.

Contact: Linda Rohr, Silver Lake Middle School, 256 Pembroke Street, Kingston, MA 02364

Project Duration: September 2007 through June 2008

Mini-Grant Award: $368


Grant 2    The Quest for the Elusive Beech Plum

The Quincy Beaches and Coastal Commission (QBCC), is an all-volunteer Commission located in Quincy, Massachusetts. Formed in 1989, we are now considered one of the environmental leaders in Quincy. We specialize in “beachie” programs, throughout the year, with our main emphasis on summer activities.“The Quest for the Elusive Beach Plum: The Making of Beach Plum Jelly” is designed as a project for children enrolled in the Houghs Neck Community Center’s summer program. We will be utilizing our natural environment, as well as receiving lessons in history. pleased to submit the following. The objective of our project is to introduce children to a native plant that can be a source of food and revenue. Children will experience a lecture on the history of the beach plum and its uses. They will then walk around Nut Island to view it in its natural habitat. They will then visit Grape and Peddocks Island to pick wild beach plums, which they will take back to the Community Center and make jelly to sell locally

Contact: Leo J. Kelly, Chairman Quincy Beaches and Coastal Commission, City of Quincy, One Merrymount Parkway, Quincy, MA 02170

Project Duration:   Late August through early-September 2006

Mini-Grant Award: $125


Grant 3     Winship Elementary School Garden Initiative

The Winship Elementary School Garden initiative will involve students in a hands-on gardening experience that raises awareness about how food is grown, and how their food choices affect their bodies and their communities. Primarily facilitated by Science Teacher, Teresa Strong, the fruits of this exciting program will be enjoyed by al Winship’s students and families. Five raised garden beds will be built and incorporated into the science curriculum, highlighting various topics including Nutrition, environmental impacts of growing practices, and improved observation skills. The program will culminate in a Fall Harvest Festival that will invite all elementary schools in Brighton to eat locally grown food and appreciate the garden beds.

Contact:   Nicole Maniez and Teresa Strong, Winship Elementary School, 54 Dighton Street, Brighton, MA 02135

Project Duration:  Late April 2007 through October 2007

Mini-Grant Award: $400              

Second Cycle (September 2007)


Grant 1: “Incubation of Eggs”

The objective of the project is to hatch out pheasant eggs as part of a New England Wildlife class for seniors at the Norfolk County Agricultural High School. The students learn about native and non-native wildlife species and their relationship with farmland in Massachusetts. To do the hatching we need and egg incubator and an automatic egg turner for the incubator. The curriculum frameworks that fit most closely are the science frameworks for biology that involve embryo development. We have taught this program before and had limited success with an old incubator and turning by hand. With the new equipment students should be able to see this project succeed.

Contact: John Lee, Norfolk County Agricultural High School, 400 Main Street, Walpole, MA 02081

Project Duration: January to June 2008

Mini-Grant Award: $500


Grant 2: “Field Trip to Cold Spring Orchard”

I am requesting funding for a field trip to Cold Spring Orchard in Belchertown, Massachusetts, for the kindergarten Class at Cold Spring School in the amount of $1,220. A guided tour of the apple orchard at the end of September will expose the children to a hands-on experience of the growing and harvesting of apples. At the end of the tour the children will be allowed to pick their own bag of apples. This apple theme will be webbed throughout our entire curriculum. This trip directly relates to the Massachusetts frameworks learning standards as students will learn about the life cycle of the apple tree and that these trees are living things than need food, air and water to grow.

Contact: Robin Murphy or Louise Butler, Cold Spring School, 57 South Main Street, Belchertown, MA 01007

Project Duration: September and October 2007

Mini-Grant Award: $400


Grant 3: “After School at the Farm”

The Spencer East Brookfield School System operates an extensive after school program that cares for children before school, after school, many schools holidays and summer vacations. It is the intent of the Spencer East Brookfield School System After-School Program to come to the Worcester County 4-H Center, Inc. For 7 consecutive weeks of farm program during their after school program time and receive school credit for this extra learning opportunity. The Spencer East Brookfield school system will be responsible for the project and grant money. Each week will focus on different themes: 1) horses and horsemanship; 2) dairy farming; 3) organic vegetable gardening; 4) poultry; 5) Sheep farming and wool production; 6) goats on the farm; 7) ornamental fiber and plants; 8) pig farming, and 9) From farm to table: cooking up what we grew.

Contact: Cindy Ahearn, Maple Street School, 68 Maple Street, Spencer, MA 01562

Project Duration: September through November 2007

Mini-Grant Award: $750


Third Cycle (November 2007)


Grant 1: Food, Farming and Fun After School

The FARM (Food, Agriculture & Resource Management) Institutes (TFI) is a non-profit community-based organization on Martha’s Vineyard that educates and engages children and adults in sustainable agriculture through the diverse operations of a 162-acre teaching and working farm. TFI seeks to expand its Food, Farming and Fun After School (FFFAS) program through offering bus transportation to the farm from area schools, opening up the program to students who would otherwise be unable to attend. Students in the FFFAS program engage in diverse farm activities that build agricultural knowledge and skills, increase awareness of sustainable land use and stewardship, promote healthy eating habits, and foster an appreciation of what it takes to bring food from the field to the table. We are requesting $1,500 to fund transportation and the purchase of seeds for the principal student project this spring, the planting and care of a half-acre vegetable and flower garden.

Contact: Melinda DeFeo, Enrichment Director, The FARM Institute, P.O. Box 1868 Edgartown, MA 02539

Project Duration: January through June 2008

Mini-Grant Award: $750


Grant 2: “Involving Elementary School Students in Sustainable Agriculture”

This project is designed to teach elementary school students about sustainable agricultural methods and to involve them in implementing these methods. Funds are requested to develop and implement a collaborative project (between Newton Community Farm (NCF) and two Newton public elementary schools; Underwood and Mason Rice). Our project has four objectives: 1) to teach students about growth of local produce and sustainable agricultural methods by using the schools’ gardens to plant vegetables and annual flowers; 2) to teach students about the use of local produce through the products of these gardens; 3) to promote a greater appreciation for local food production and agricultural methods through student visits to NCF; 4) to involve the students in sustainable agricultural practices by teaching and implementing a composting program for snack-time food waste.

Contact: Greg Maslowe, Manager, Newton Community Farm, 303 Nahanton Street, Newton Centre, MA 02459

Project Duration: November of 2007 through November of 2008

Mini-Grant Award: $750


Grant 3: “Learning from the Land: Teacher Open Farm Days”

Red Gate Farm is proposing Learning from the Land, an opportunity for local school teachers to learn about farm-based activities and field trip possibilities for their students at Red Gate Farm. Teachers participating in one of two open farm days will experience first-hand the many programs available to their classes, including learning about the farm community of animals, studying compost and cycles of life, and exploring the pond, stream and natural environment. Teachers will also learn how to lead agriculture-related activities that they can implement in their classroom, such as fiber arts and seed saving. This project will encourage more teachers to incorporate agriculture into their curriculum, both inside and beyond the classroom setting.

Contact: Adrienne Shelton, Farm Manager, Red Gate Farm Education Center, P.O. Box 300, Buckland, MA 01338

Project Duration: December 2007 through August 2008

Mini-Grant Award: $500


Grant 4: “Hatfield Farm Art Mural Project”

Since 2005, the Hatfield Agricultural Advisory Commission and Smith Academy Art Department have collaborated on a series of large original, art murals depicting various aspects of the history and nature of agriculture in the Town of Hatfield. The murals are publicly displayed on tobacco barns and, in the case of one, in the town’s farm museum for town citizens and area residents to enjoy. We request a $150 Special Mini-Grant from Massachusetts Agriculture in the Classroom to support the development and creation of a new farm art mural for 2008.

Contact: Julie Muellejans, Art Teacher, Smith Academy, 34 School Street, Hatfield, MA 01038 in Cooperation with the Hatfield Agricultural Advisory Commission

Project Duration: Spring of 2008

Mini-Grant Award: $150


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