Westtown's student worked mini-farm is a two acre small farm where students learn about sustainable agriculture, doing hands-on work building soil and planting organically for harvest for our kitchen and community. The mini-farm offers students the chance to get down and dirty with the earth, learn about themselves and their role in the food web, and grow vegetables to be eaten by all members of the Westtown community. The mini-farm hosts a rammed earth and tire recessed open air classroom, a pizza oven made of cob, and a 96 foot high tunnel—all tools in teaching earth literacy to high school students—the fundamental connection of humans with the earth and with their food, and the attendant environmental, scientific and social issues related to food production and access. Students connect with the farm in four ways:
• Students can choose to be part of daily activities on the farm in fall and spring. This afternoon co-curricular is where students learn and work most intensively—following their food from seed to seedling, to planting, cultivation, and harvest. Opportunities for work, reflection, group and individual activities, as well as visits to other farms in the area are part of this offering.
• Students are also assigned during the growing season to a morning work crew as part of the Work Program that all students participate in. Four times a week, for 25 minutes, students come in the early morning and complete finite tasks related to keeping the farm going, as part of the important learning that happens in Westtown's work program.
• During the summer, a CSA is run out of the farm space, giving a home to our summer produce. We also do some restaurant sales and donations to the Chester County Food Bank.
• Vegetables grown on the mini-farm are eaten by students in the school's dining room in the spring and fall, completing the circuit of student work leading to student harvest and eating — a full circle of food that few today have the opportunity to experience, and is a key piece to graduating an earth literate citizen.