Life on the Farm
Why chickens at a school? We thought it would be great if the students of Jackson City could witness first hand where our food comes from. Chicken nuggets just don’t fall from the sky and eggs just don’t appear at the store. We feel that it’s imperative that our kids start learning at an early the age the importance of healthy food choices and the benefits you reap when you work hard. Another lesson we hope to relay: don’t be scared of the unknown. A few of my students really do enjoy raising their own chickens at home, and many are extremely knowledgeable in this agriculture glory! Plus, chickens are a wonderful addition to any garden. The chickens eat bugs off of the plants, their droppings are a wonderful addition to our compost, which can then be added back into our garden soil in the fall and the cycle continues. The bonus is that our free range, all organic chickens will produce the best eggs out there if given this grant. And they are just fun. Schoolyard chicken coops are not just for rural schools. Inner-city schools, such as Chicago and New York City, are including chickens as a part of curriculum to provide students with hands-on experience with agriculture. For many classrooms, education involving backyard chickens goes far beyond the textbook. This will also be so beneficial in starting our Agriculture Classes and sustaining it for years to come. Not only will this class benefit, but with a good structural chicken coop, we will be able to keep this for years and children all throughout the school will benefit from this great opportunity.
“GREEN” With Innovation
This year I will be teaching our very first Agricultural Science Class at Jackson City School and I have never been more excited! We have graciously been given a plot of land in our community to tend to and garden. My plans are to start a greenhouse business and have a year-round supply of fruits, vegetables, and flowering plants for my students to run their own business. With this greenhouse and supplies grant, it will aid in helping us start our plants indoors and have a business up and running before school is out of session. It will also help our students understand the importance of working hard to make a profit and learning how to take care and nurture plants to benefit from the best profit possible. This picture below shows the raised bed (we have 3) that we are fortunate to have. We currently do not have our greenhouse in, so this is a picture of my AG students working to plant fall produce at the beginning of this year.
Preserving Our Heritage
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There’s something special about a fresh jar of homemade jam in the winter – toasting some fresh bread, sipping a hot beverage and heading out to meet the day. Or what about biting into a crispy pickle from those extra cucumbers or green beans you harvested over summer? Sometimes it’s that tasty snack that gets you through the day. I have been lucky enough to be a part of our first Agriculture Science class here at Jackson Independent School. One my main goals is to teach my students a way of life that is becoming a part of our past, rather than an everyday part of our life like our grandparents taught us. I would like to bring certain Appalachian ways back into the classroom with my agriculture class. In doing so with this wonderful grant, I will have the ability to teach my students how to properly can and preserve the foods we grow throughout the year to help build a sustainable Farmers Market year after year with the funds we receive.