Educators & Agriculture
MAC Mini-Grant Winners 2009
First Cycle (April 2009)
Grant 1: The Garden at Grow
The Grow School, a public school (K-12) that specializes in educating over 150 students diagnosed with emotional and behavioral disabilities, is requesting funds to help our Summer Program buy tools and supplies necessary to engage students in creating a school garden. Our community has been supportive of the garden but additional funds are needed for seeds, tools and start up equipment. “The Garden at Grow” will provide Students with the opportunity to participate in a “work practice” method of instruction to allow them to learn through a hands on environment the process of producing a crop. Elementary grades will start seeds in the Spring and Middle and High school students will plant and care for the garden throughout late spring and summer. Crops grown will be sold to the public at a student run farm stand.
Contact: Martha A. Burkett, 5th and 6th Grade Teacher, The Grow School, Southern Worcester County Educational Collaborative, #185 Southbridge Road, Dudley, MA 01571
Project Duration: Spring 2009 through Fall 2009
Mini-Grant Award: $400
Grant 2: Why Local Is Better
Thank you for providing our agricultural program with the opportunity to apply for a mini-grant. The students and I have been working on developing an agricultural education program that will benefit the students, local communities and local farmers. We just completed our greenhouse renovation in February of 2009 and are anxious to maximize our efforts and efficiency with our proposed program. Silver Lake Regional HS is a comprehensive high school that has a Career and Technical Education Department. The CTE department provides career and technical education in 7 different programs including Conservation Horticulture. Our Conservation Horticulture students are active members of the FFA and are also presently working partners with the Jones River Landing, the Kingston Conservation Commission and the Kingston Agricultural Commission. The objective of the program is to bring awareness to the local community about the many benefits to purchasing locally grown foods.
Contact: Dawn Fornari, Conservation Horticulture Program, Silver Lake Regional High School, 260 Pembroke Street Kingston, MA 02364
Project Duration: Spring 2009.
Mini-Grant Award: $450
Grant 3: Learning, Giving, and Agricultural Literacy at Kettle Pond Farm
Farm Education occurs in many ways. A new direction for outreach and education at Kettle Pond Farm this year is an integrated hands-on, experiential learning and sustainable agricultural literacy development programs. A model-scale plot garden at Kettle Pond Farm is the location wherein participants from the school and community share in the experience of organic farming, learning and working, and also giving the produce to families in need of food assistance. In addition, a list of educational books about agriculture was compiled by Roger Williams University students as an Honors program project, from which Angela will choose books to order to be used in the Berkley community School classroom and also at Kettle Pond Farm.
Contact: Angela Possinger, 1 42nd Street Berkley, MA 02779
Project Duration: Spring through fall 2009l
Mini-Grant Award: $250
Second Cycle (September 2009)
Grant 1: A. D. Makepeace Cranberry Tour Program
The A. D. Makepeace Cranberry Bog Tour begins in the classroom with structured activities that support science, maths and language arts. Upon our arrival in October at Makepeace Cranberry Company, Tihonet Road, Wareham, a guide will greet us and have a discussion. Next, the group will be transported via our buses to the cranberry bog area. During the tour, the guide will show the group examples of an existing bog currently in production, and a bog being harvested, examples of the process of renovating old bogs as well as building new bogs. Our guide will also discuss the stages of the cranberry growing process, the two methods of harvesting and give us some insight on being a cranberry farmer.
Contact: Sherri Williams Minot Forest Elementary School 63 Minot Avenue Wareham, MA 02571
Project Duration: Fall 2009.
Mini-Grant Award: $495
Grant 2: Making Peach Jam Using Scientific Tools and Principals
A grant for this coming school year from the Southborough Education Foundation will permit me to make jam with my classes. That grant covers the cost of purchasing canning equipment, half pint canning jars and other miscellaneous equipment (extra knives, cutting boards, etc.) However, since taking the workshop over the summer “Canning and Preserving of Locally Grown Foods” at the Warren Farm and Sugarhouse with Janice Wentworth, I would like to make this class more comprehensive and scientific, just as Janice taught us. Janice explained the importance of having fruit that is the correct Ph., a fruit and sugar solution that is the correct temperature and a fruit syrup that is the correct sugar concentration. Therefore I would like to purchase the following equipment to accomplish those tasks: Long stemmed canning thermometer; Ph meter and Refractometer. As part of my final project for the graduate course taken with MAC and Fitchburg State College, I created a unit called Seasonal Recipes Using Local Foods. A class on making peach jam is one of the three classes in the unit. The unit would be about one week long.
Contact: Susan Halpin, Algonquin Regional High School, 79 Bartlett Street Northborough, MA 01532
Project Duration: September 2009 into future years.
Mini-Grant Award: $360
Third Cycle (November 2009)
Grant 1: Local Farming - Maple Syrup Harvest - Then and Now
The students in class 6B at Gerena School, Springfield Public School District, rarely have the opportunity to experience the natural world outside of their inner-city neighborhoods. Gerena School practices Montessori methodology of education and our class is a multi-age classroom consisting of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade boys and girls who are mostly English language learners. Exposure to a local maple sugaring farm would create an awareness of the farm to table process and expand the world of these children outside of the city borders.
Contact: Ann Marie Barrett Noel, Sheltered English Instructor, Gerena School, 200 Birnie Avenue, Springfield, MA 01107
Project Duration: January and February 2010
Mini-Grant Award: $285
Grant 2: Digging In and Growing Our Own at Nauset Why Local Is Better
During the 2008-2009 academic year, the science department began planning a school run garden with the idea that students could grow produce that could be used in the school cafeteria. This plan intends to involve and be accessible to students across all grade levels as well as the Nauset community with a focus on the Council on aging and the Town of Eastham. Some members of the Science Department have attended MAC workshops over the years and at this time we are ready to pursue establishing a garden. Currently students involved in our botany and biology classes us a 50' by 15' greenhouse that is in need of repair. The garden will be located alongside the greenhouse on a section of land that is partially fenced off. The objective of this project is to foster student interest in gardening, to learn to work with each other cooperatively along with their local community, and to grow food for their own campus cafeteria. It is our hope that this endeavor will create awareness and a connection of how food is grown, and handled, and how its freshness is important for one’s health. Students will have a better understanding and appreciation of food, fiber and ornamental agricultural enterprise, and of being a user and supplier of resources essential to survival. The opportunity to garden will create an atmosphere of cooperativeness within the student body and let them learn first hand the satisfaction of growing their own food. At this time we have great parental support, as well as support from local farmers and the local group “Slow Food cape Cod,” a group working to connect local farmers with school cafeterias in Cape Cod.
Contact: Elizabeth A. Lebow and Linda P. Johnson, Science Department, Nauset Regional High School 100 Cable Road, P. O. Box 1887, North Eastham, MA 02651-5046
Project Duration: Fall 2009 through Fall 2010.
Mini-Grant Award: $300
Grant 3: Farming in and Urban Preschool
The purpose of the Farming in an Urban Preschool project is to guide students towards an understanding about where food comes from and the work involved in growing it. Students will begin this journey by exploring the broad question, “What things grow” in the fall of 2009. They will then prepare the school’s inner courtyard for its transformation into a garden in the late fall. In the spring of 2010 students will begin to explore farms and gardens through books, videos and activities. A guest speaker will be invited to come into the classroom to talk with the students about her own experience with gardens. A field trip to a local farm will be planned.
Contact: Kelly King, The Bartlett Community Partnership School, 79 Wannalancit Street, Lowell, MA 01854 (
Project Duration: Fall 2009 through Fall 2010
Mini-Grant Award: $250