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Votes

Brickyard Educational Farm, Ongoing Plans

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Sophia Maravell

Brickyard Educational Farm piloted a successful farm to school field trip program in 2012 at no cost to the county, school system or tax payer. This same experiential, farm-based educational program could continue in 2013 to meet environmental literacy requirements to MCPS students until, and if, the site is needed for future developments.

The recent court ruling doesn't have any bearing one way or the other on Brickyard Educational Farm, we are continuing with our course of action.

Currently Brickyard Educational Farm is continuing to develop its curriculum with the help of our teacher advisory board, and plan to test it on a small garden plot with campers, students and teachers. We see no reason for the land to be left vacant while we have a program that could be up and running this season at no cost to the school board that would connect children with where their food comes from.

We are continuing to build and develop the program in preparation for a second pilot year to fulfill our vision of environmental literacy and farm-based education for the children of Montgomery County.

Brickyard Educational Farm has been going into MCPS schools to lead interactive activities and give presentations about food and farming. We are building our vision by honing our in-class and on-farm curriculum with the help of our teacher advisory board, and we are building our program, organization and vision in order to better collaborate with the school board in the future.

As of right now, the property is not being used. Instead of being left vacant, this property could serve as a model pilot program in the interim at no cost to the county, school board, or tax payer that could be replicated across the state or nation. We see no purpose being served in leaving the site abandoned when we could be honoring the agriculture heritage of the land and state by utilizing this fertile organic soil solely for educational purposes. Students not just from Potomac Elementary School, but any MCPS school would benefit from Brickyard Educational Farm as it is located within a ten mile radius of 67 MCPS schools, and three special schools making field trips an easy commute.

Our vision remains to connect children with where their food comes from through on farm field trips, train the next generation of beginning farmers through our farm incubator program, continue saving rare heirloom varieties of corn and soybean seeds through our seed saving program, and grow food for the local schools through the farm to cafeteria program.