Monday, June 6, 2011

Meet the Farmers-- Clare Hyre

Greetings from Henry Got Crops! agricultural programs - I 'm Clare Hyre and I'm the new education coordinator at Saul High School for the CSA! A brief introduction of myself is that I am originally from Virginia and that I went to a small Quaker College in Greensboro, NC for college (Guilford) where I studied Peace and Conflict Studies and Religious Studies and where I spent thousands of hours volunteering nationally and internationally through the Bonner Scholars Program. During and after college I worked on educational farms in California, Maine, Connecticut and New York and I and am glad to have finally found a home at Weavers Way.
The education coordinator position is brand new and was formerly part of Nina and Nicole's job. We all agree that having someone focused solely on education at the CSA (even if only part time) is proving to be very successful.
At the farm things are going full swing and the enthusiasm for education programs is very high. People are so enthusiastic that classes have to come out every other week to make sure that everyone gets a turn weeding, transplanting, and creating new beds! Students learn how to grow vegetables from seed to table and are able to understand the importance of local and sustainable agriculture. Likewise, I hope to incorporate what students are learning in the field into what they're learning in the classroom, and vice versa. Because Saul is an agricultural high school the students can see how everything fits together and how important healthy food is to healthy living.
Another fun part of my job is running the Farm Club, which meets every Wednesday afternoon and students get to explore the CSA, taste test, and help out with our weekly farm stand. As well as growing for a CSA we sell our produce to the local community in Roxborough. Having the kids help run the farm stand is a great way for them to see the business components of farming and learn about marketing. Through the educational programs at Henry Got Crops! I hope to deepen the relationship between the Saul students and the CSA, empowering them to find ownership in the work they do. All families of Saul students are offered a discount if they choose to join the CSA.
Soon there will be several paid high school interns on the farm and we will also be working with incoming freshman classes to introduce them to the farm. It will be a busy place with all the CSA pick- ups and fields a plenty. Hopefully I will see ya'll at the farm and we can chat while harvesting U- pick green beans grown by Saul students.

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