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Farm to School

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The Baltimore City Public Schools Farm to School (F2S) program promotes experiential education that connects students to nature and food systems. In every grade band, our programs and services focus on three core areas: (1) food education for lifelong healthy habits, (2) nature-based exploration for wholeness and academic enrichment, (3) food system engagement for active citizenship, leadership development, and career skills. Reflective of the priorities outlined in the City Schools Blueprint for Success, meaningful F2S experiences are transformative for students’ academic success and their social, emotional, and physical wellness. Additionally, they empower youth to understand, engage with, and co-create their food system in ways that can improve food security and sovereignty, while also preparing youth to be systems thinkers and social changemakers.

With 33 acres of forests, fields, a stream, greenhouses, and a barn full of animals, Great Kids Farm (GKF) is a hub for hands-on Farm to School opportunities. GKF is owned and operated by Baltimore City Public Schools Food & Nutrition Services.

The Farm to School team offers the following (free!) to staff and students in our district:

In-Person Programs
  • Field trips to Great Kids Farm (GKF): Curriculum-aligned, hands-on learning with plants, animals, and land at the farm (grades 1-5) [REQUEST FORM]
  • Student Summits: A series of energizing workshops bringing together students from many schools: Good Food Summit (grades 5-8, Fall); African American Foodways Summit (grades 9-12, Winter); Spring Garden Club Summit (grades 3-8) [INTEREST FORM]
  • F2S Experience @ School: F2S staff bring the farm to your school (classroom or club) to lead lessons on animals, planting, and/or farm-fresh cooking (all grades) [REQUEST FORM]
  • High School Employment Program*
  • Service-Learning Opportunities @ GKF*

*Contact farms@bcps.k12.md.us with questions about these experiences.

Virtual Programs
  • Facetime the Farmer: Live (virtual) visit to GKF tailored by age group and focus area [REQUEST FORM]
  • Virtual Field Trip: Students explore GKF at their own pace with this digital experience designed for the virtual classroom [LINK TO TRIP]
  • Video Resources: 
Materials-Based Programs

Farm to School Specialists provide technical assistance and materials to school staff interested in school gardening, greening, cafeteria programs, and nutrition programs, in the form of: 

  • Ag-tivity Kits: Materials and teacher resource pack to link classroom learning with hands-on experiences, including Aquaponics Kit, Microgreens Kit, Mushroom Kit, Indoor Herb Garden Kit, Worms Are Wonderful Compost Kit [LINK TO REQUEST FORM]
  • Seeds and Seedlings: Seeds and seedlings are available for educational use on a seasonal basis (1x/Fall, 1x/Spring) [LINK TO REQUEST FORM]
Resources
  • School Garden Toolkit [LINK]
  • Outdoor Learning Website [LINK]

Other resources for school staff can be found on the City Schools Farm to School homepage  and the City Schools Sustainability homepage, where links allow visitors to view all greening resources and to access Green Newsletters for staff. 

Gathering Space

GKF hosts professional development and other gatherings (e.g., networking) for departments within City Schools and for external organizations with relevant missions. If you are interested in hosting a meeting at GKF, please submit a request here.

Services

Email City Schools Farm to School staff at farms@bcps.k12.md.us if you are a Baltimore City Public Schools staff person interested in:

Consulting & Professional Development
  • School gardens and outdoor learning
  • Food education
  • Connecting F2S topics to curricula
​​Community & Family Engagement
  • Participation in school-wide family events
  • Connections with local farms, gardens, and food- or nutrition-related organizations

2nd-Grade Field Trips

Request a Free Trip

Meetings/Retreats

Request to Host an Event on the Farm

History, Events, & Resources

Visit the Friends of Great Kid Farm Site

FaceTime the Farmer

Request a brief virtual farm visit for any grade

School Gardens

School gardens are valuable resources as versatile spaces for enriching student learning across subjects, ages, and abilities. Our Farm to School staff provides technical assistance for gardens of all shapes and sizes– ranging from indoor windowsill arrangements to outdoor greenhouses and raised beds. 

School Garden Resources

Tips on Starting or Expanding School Planting

Support for Your School Garden

Request Support from Our Team

More Greening Resources

Sustainability Resources

For the latest Farm to School news

Look for the “GKF Beet” in the monthly Green Schools Update. Email green@bcps.k12.md.us to subscribe.