September 19, 2017
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How Organic School Farms & Gardens Can Help Feed the Planet 
Sacred Heart Schools - Atherton
Atherton, CA
Summer 2016 Blog

The farm and garden program at Sacred Heart Schools, Atherton will immerse students into our commercial/community agriculture curriculum for one week. During that time participants will plant seed for germination in our greenhouse, transplant seedlings into the garden, tend growing plans, and harvest summer vegetables, fruits and herbs. They will also feed and tend to the daily needs of our chickens, rabbits, ducks, turkeys and goats. Collecting eggs, taking goats out for rotational grazing, milking and preforming other farm chores will punctuate our daily schedule. 

Although students will be quite busy tending to our farm, we will also all spend large chunks of time preparing harvested produce for our customers. This crucial aspect of the program will involve students in delivering food for our CSA program, our campus farm & garden markets, our school summer camps, the cafeteria for the RSCJ Oakwood Community and a local chapter of the community justice organization, Food Not Bombs. We sell some of the products from our agriculture program and we give others away. Both distribution models are important as a good farm must earn money while building relationships. At our school farm it's 50-50. 

In addition to developing outdoor agricultural skills participants in our program will have extensive discussions about the big questions: How will we solve the practical and ethical dilemmas involved in feeding 9 billion people by 2050 and 11 billion people by 2100? Brief articles and short documentaries showcasing journalists, ecologists and food activists will inform our disucssion and we will maintain an experiential focus by cooking and eating together. We will prepare most of our meals together using ingredients raised and grown on our campus. Our network program concentrates most directly on the Sacred Heart injunction to teach respect for creation and prepare students to be stewards of the earth's resources. As teachers in an activist-driven experiential program we will also appeal to latent forms of critical consciousness, encourage participants to reflect ons ociety's values and inspire students to be active, informed, and responsible citizens locally, nationally, and globally. 

The majority of our program activities will take place on campus and will not require transportation. We will take four local trips to serve food to homeless residents of San Francisco, stroll through a local farmer's market and visit two university farm and garden programs. On both occasions requiring transportation program coordinators will drive participants to our destination in school vans.

The success of our program depends on collegiality, an eager willingness to work and a desire to investigate complicated questions. Students from the middle- and high-school level are encouraged to apply and will need to be prepared for a program that absorbs most of their attention from the morning until the evening. Our program runs from June 5 through June 12. Teaching staff includes men and women and is made up of experienced Sacred Heart educators who have been managing our farm for years. We will provide lots of good food, cozy comforts and laughs. However, our primary goal is to offer students an opportunity to think about how food is currently produced around the globe and how it will need to be produced in the future if we want to live in a peaceful, humane, life-affirming world. 


Coordinator: Stewart Slafter / Sacred Heart Schools, Atherton
Co-Coordinator: Doyle Pitchford / Sacred Heart Schools, Atherton

June 5-12, 2017
For Male & Female Students entering grades 8-12
Participants will be staying at Sacred Heart Schools, Atherton, CA




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