FarmerJawn is planning a plethora of instructional programming to confront the downside in all age teams.
Barfield and Ritter are trying right into a homebound program for older of us and people with disabilities who is probably not in a position to go away their homes.
They are already working alongside teams like PowerCorpPHL to assist youthful adults.
And additionally they have a school-based program along side college students from Cheltenham High School who examine and work as interns. The project-based studying additionally permits for seniors in the program to come to the Elkins Estate twice per week and assist run the CSA program.
Karen Shaffran is a longtime instructor in the Cheltenham School District and three years in the past she shifted from educating in Cedarbrook Middle School to educating at the highschool.
Through conversations with the new superintendent at the time, Shaffran got here to a realization that the extra she found about project-based studying, the extra it appeared like her “sweet spot.”
So, the district determined to experiment with the altered studying system.
“At the same time that we were looking into how we could bring project-based learning to the district, we were approached by a donor who had some history with us. He had student-taught at the high school, and he has a family foundation that was interested in seeing if we would sort of go all-in with project-based learning, and he would fund the professional development of a cohort of teachers to sort of see that as a high school,” Shaffran mentioned.
She was a member of that group of lecturers they usually have been despatched to a college district in San Diego that has been using project-based studying in grades Okay-12 for about 15 years. They bought a run down from the employees on their experiences and determined to apply it in Cheltenham only for ninth graders.
And as the college students progressed in grades, the venture would broaden with them.
Now, in yr 5 of the program that “functions like a school within a school”, project-based studying is accessible for all highschool college students.
“We’ve done all kinds of things, but definitely a fan favorite has been this partnership with FarmerJawn,” Shaffran mentioned.
Students have been integral in the analysis and design course of for the farm at Elkins Estate. They self-selected teams and helped design completely different components of the FarmerJawn setup. From the greenhouses to the potential for a goat enclosure, the college students envisioned one thing particular.
Shraffran first bought linked with Barfield in the 2021-2022 faculty yr after studying about her earlier farming enterprise in the space. She was in a position to get two college students positioned at the house that she was at. However, FarmerJawn was going by means of a tough patch and had to transfer her operation out of Cheltenham Township.
It wasn’t till Shaffran was happening a stroll together with her son that they found the builders in command of Elkins Estate have been open to doing enterprise and sharing the house. So for months with out Christa’s data, Shaffran had conversations with the builders and was in a position to assist FarmerJawn discover a residence there.
“People already love Christa as a human being and her mission and to actually then be able to get fresh, local organic produce, both from a convenience standpoint, but also as … a reduction of environmental impact that our food is going to be grown locally,” Shaffran mentioned. “To have that as an example of entrepreneurship, of caring for the planet, of a woman owning a business, everything about it — it’s such a gift to us and to me as an educator.”
Barfield and Ritter have already got quite a bit on their plate, however they’re trying to roll out a whole itinerary of school-based programming in the coming yr.
However, Barfield doesn’t need to go away anybody out.
“When we have our volunteer days for people that just want to come in on the days that we do them, hopefully once a month that will get more regular, those are great opportunities for one-offs for people that just want to come see what we’re doing and get their hands in some dirt,” Barfield mentioned.
Ritter wants individuals to know that the motto is “agriculture is the culture” and he’s hoping that with elevated visibility, FarmerJawn’s nonprofit can tackle better societal points.
“Our supporters and partners really help us make this work happen. And also, we have some incredible people who are looking to fund this great work because it does take money to keep the lights on, if you will. So I’m thankful for all of those folks, and we just look forward to continuing our great programming,” Ritter mentioned.
While FarmerJawn’s Greenery is having its grand opening on Earth Day at its storefront at 6730 Germantown Avenue, its nonprofit is nonetheless a piece in progress and is nonetheless below growth. Plants are already rising in the greenhouse in preparation for its first CSA set for June 1.
However, Barfield will likely be internet hosting completely different occasions on the property quickly in the meantime to elevate cash for the nonprofit.
She takes satisfaction in being a Black lady proudly owning a enterprise in an area that she hopes will likely be a catalyst for different Black individuals to begin their very own journey in farming.
“Our nonprofit is really, really revving up and gearing up to make a huge impact in this community,” Barfield mentioned.