Briggs Bringing the Farm to School
BRINGING the FARM to SCHOOL – TASTE OF BRIGGS
Florence, SC, April 6, 2016-- Briggs Elementary School has created a micro-farm on-site at their school to integrate nutrition and agriculture education through hands-on learning activities. Three Briggs’ teachers, Ashley Dawkins, Cindy Martin and Jeff Murrie, applied for and received a grant of $4,000 from the SC Farm to School program that helped get their program off the ground. Students, teachers, parents of Briggs students, community members and organizations have all come together to make this exciting project become a reality. Briggs’ farm is nearing completion and the community is invited to the grand opening during their annual Taste of Briggs fundraiser April 14th at 6:00pm.
SC Farm to School is a program that connects schools with local agriculture. The goals of the program are to 1) Increase the number of SC grown fruits and vegetables in schools, 2) Promote healthy eating habits, 3) Provide nutrition and agriculture education, and 4) Support the local economy. The Program is a collaborative partnership between the South Carolina Department of Agriculture, South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, South Carolina Department of Education, South Carolina Department of Social Services and Clemson University.
“The Farm to School concept is a true personal passion of mine and I am thrilled to be able to share it with our students,” said Jeff Murrie, Briggs teacher and co-sponsor of the Briggs 4-H Club. “Although we are just finishing up with the bricks and mortar of the project, I feel strongly that all the students that have been involved up to this point have already started learning invaluable lessons for their future,” Murrie went on to say. “This has truly been a community effort and we look forward to celebrating with all our partners during the upcoming Taste of Briggs that is appropriately themed Farm-to-School this year,” said Murrie.
Special thanks goes out to the City of Florence for helping kick things off with the farm project by providing the building materials and Adam Swindler, Beatification and Facilities Division Manager for the City of Florence, for helping coordinate the site preparation. Justin Matthews built the fourteen raised beds as part of his Boy Scouts Eagle Scout project. Steven Reed, Paul Reid and Scott Burns were instrumental in getting things off the ground – literally!
Each grade, K-6, is responsible for planting and caring for one of the fourteen raised vegetable or fruit garden beds, along with the 4H Club and there is even one bed for the community members in the Briggs neighborhood. Currently they have planted tomatoes, zucchini, squash, lettuce, beets, radishes, kale, sugar snap peas, collards, herbs, blueberry bushes and a fig tree.
Thanks to the construction efforts of Robert Keefe, in addition to the fruit and vegetable garden Briggs will have a state of the art chicken coop. The children will learn about the responsibilities of caring for the hens, collecting the eggs and eventually selling the eggs at the Saturday morning Farmers Market in downtown Florence. The Florence County Farm Bureau’s Women’s Committee, ArborOne Farm Credit, Briggs 4H Club and Pee Dee Land Trust donated funds to help create the chicken coop.
To learn more about Briggs Elementary School, please visit their website and Facebook pages.
To learn more about HopeHealth Pediatrics, the Presenting Sponsor for Taste of Briggs, please visit their website.
To learn more about SC Farm to School, please visit their website and Facebook pages.