Farm & Garden Learning Center
Falmouth Public Schools is a leader in the state for their Farm to School program. The elementary and middle schools each have their own gardens outside their buildings and the high school has an orchard as well as a new orchard space being currently developed. There are three greenhouses and one hoop house on campus. Across the street from the main school campus is the Falmouth Farm & Garden Learning Center that students often refer to as “the farm.” It is a well established growing space built upon permaculture methods.
There are two full-time farmers that maintain the space which holds annual vegetables, pollinator gardens, fruit trees, a frog pond, and more! The farmers coordinate with teachers to help connect classroom learning to the outdoors. All schools are able to utilize the space for educational as well as social-emotional learning. Approximately 325 students from kindergarten through high school visit the gardens and greenhouses each week. Below are just a few examples of how each school is using the gardens and greenhouses on campus.
The Garden staff work with teachers on how to enhance their curriculum with hands-on experiences. Kindergarten and second graders come to the space for a year-round special along with many other annual lessons being offered for all grades.
Digging worms and learning about soil health as part of a science class. Playing a bird and worm game to learn about social norms and cooperation. Counting pumpkin seeds to practice math facts and explore the five senses. These lessons and more are designed to reinforce and enhance the FES curriculum.
Falmouth Middle School teachers work with the Garden staff to use the outdoor classroom spaces and gardens for projects such as learning about invasive species in science class and researching farming as part of the neolithic era.
The FMS health class visits the gardens weekly to learn about plant and recipe research and prepare a healthy snack in the outdoor pizza oven. Other students have helped clear and prepare the greenhouse to be more accessible for all students while learning about civic engagement and helping their community.
The Garden team works with high school teachers to incorporate the outdoors and gardens into their curriculum, such as the pop-up gardening class. The Yellow Tulip Project and Sources of Strength interdisciplinary project, which focuses on education, mental health, and wellness, planted tulip bulbs on the school campus that will be enjoyed this spring.
Falmouth High School students also have the opportunity to enjoy the outdoor spaces throughout the year, such when students use the orchard to gather and eat lunch outside.