South Whidbey School Farms, started in 2014, is a K-12 program teaching farm-based and culinary education on the farms where the students grow the food. The organic produce grown is eaten by the students during farm and culinary classes, in school lunches, the Elementary School snack program, at school events, and is also shared with local non-profits. In addition to vegetables, the school farms also have fruit and nut trees, insectivories, bees, dye plants, herbs and native plants.
Seasonally, we sell produce served in the school lunch program to Chartwells, the school district’s corporate food service provider. We were the first school district in the nation to follow the Chartwells School Garden Guide protocols for delivering produce on a regular basis to the school lunches, and have been doing so since 2014.
Harvest also is shared with Whidbey Island Nourishes, a weekend ready-to-eat meal program that provides school children and families with healthy, nutritious food.
The High School Agriculture program has launched a successful farm stand in front of the High School, with seasonal produce available by suggested donation.
At the K-6 Elementary School we have a specialist program with over 400 students per week coming to the farm year-round for lessons. At the High School, the Agriculture CTE instructor teaches daily HS Ag and MS garden science classes. The farms are managed to create learning opportunities for students, and to maximize their participation in growing the produce they love to eat. The classes are designed around learning how to grow food, and the work needed to accomplish that, with the intent of also meeting Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards. Culinary classes teach the students how to cook the food they grow.
- The 1/2 acre Elementary School Farm is located at 5476 Maxwelton Rd., Langley, WA behind the South Campus. Students K-6 come to the farm daily. The School Farm grows for the cafeterias, culinary classes, eating during farm classes, events and sharing with non-profit Whidbey Island Nourishes.
- The High School has two gardens, the 1/4 acre Front Garden and the 1/4 acre Back Garden, that grow a wide range of vegetables and flowers for student consumption, events and culinary classes. The Front Garden is also the market garden for the Farm Stand.
- The Big ACRE at Bayview is a collaboration between the School District and the Good Cheer Food Bank to grow produce for the Food Bank and the school cafeterias.
The culinary program teaches students how to prepare and cook with the vegetables they grow, and also organizes events such as the Harvest Feast, Earth Day and Orcas Picnic. The students grow the vegetables for these events, and help prepare and serve the food.
Current staffing is Elementary School Farm Specialist, CTE Agriculture teacher, School Farm Manager and two AmeriCorps service members. The farm program also partners with Whidbey Island Nourishes for the culinary and snack program.
The School Farms program is funded by the South Whidbey School District.
We welcome volunteers! For more information, contact email@example.com.