Schoolyard Farms, a nonprofit educational farm based on a schoolyard, was founded with the goal of creating a sustainable outdoor education model that gets kids to learn about, grow, and eat fruits and vegetables. The organization is piloting their model at Candy Lane Elementary in Milwaukie and, so far, they’ve seen enormous success. The one-acre plot of land is bursting with colorful rows of rainbow chard, overflowing container beds filled with countless varieties of lettuce, and fava bean fields so large they’d make any fava-fan green with envy. The group anticipates that beginning this Fall, those fruits and veggies will be circled back into the cafeteria, providing healthy lunch items to school children. Schoolyard Farms treats the space not only as an area for growing and harvesting, but also as an outdoor classroom, where children can explore and learn under the guidance of experienced outdoor educators and farmers. During the school year, students have class in the outdoor urban farm setting once a week; during the summer, the farm transforms into a summer camp, where children are immersed for one week on the farm, learning about seeds, planting, harvesting, and cooking.

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