The Farm-to-Table program (aka “F2T”) began as a partnership between Headwaters, the Rappahannock County Public Schools, and other community organizations. Planted at Rappahannock County High School in 2004, the program branched out and now provides fertile soil for learning to students in many disciplines at both the high school and Rappahannock County Elementary School. Rappahannock County Public School now supports this program with a full-time teacher position.
The mission of F2T is to cultivate students to be good stewards of the earth and productive community members through classroom study of horticulture and nutrition, cultivation of school gardens, and hands-on experiences at local family farms. Through F2T, students gain an appreciation of Rappahannock County’s agrarian culture and a sense of stewardship for the land. The program helps to preserve farming techniques and traditions, teaches students where their food comes from, reinforces the ethic of conservation, and introduces land-friendly career options.
What We Do
Farm-to-Table works with students of all ages, through the Culinary Arts, Horticulture, Industrial Technology, 5th grade, 6th/7th Exploratory, and other classes. Students create and maintain edible and ornamental gardens on school property, visit local farms to learn about crops and cultivation methods, study compost and soil science, learn about Rappahannock’s commitment to the preservation of agricultural lands, and study nutrition, hunger, and food security issues. They harvest, prepare, and consume their fresh produce, some of which is also sold, donated to those in need, contributed to nonprofit events, and shared with the school cafeterias.
Major support for the Farm-to-Table program is provided by the Rappahannock County Farm Bureau, the Young Farmland Fund, the Band Foundation, and the Rappahannock County Garden Club. Major grants have been received from the National Gardening Association and Lowe’s Toolbox for Education. F2T received national recognition in 2007, winning a “Healthy Sprouts Award” for hunger and nutrition education.
The Farm-to-Table Program’s success is due to the outstanding faculty, supportive administrators, and the efforts of a dedicated team of volunteer partner-growers with backgrounds in agriculture, environment, and education. The Headwaters Foundation supports the Farm-to-Table program with resources and volunteers throughout the school year.