Meet Balboa Middle School & Get Involved with the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund

Since 2014, the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund has partnered with the California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom to administer the Look at Agriculture…Organically! grant program for K-8 teachers who teach their students about organic in the classroom. Each week, visit our blog to hear from the teachers who received Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund grants for their schools about the projects they funded.

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Balboa Middle School
Ventura County, California

The main objective of Salad Bar Farms is to let the students of Balboa Middle School become active participants in growing the produce that is served at their school during lunch. Over the course of this grant, approximately 600 students (half of the student body) visited the farm. Further, approximately 550 pounds of carrots, lettuce, and green beans from the farm were served at the school's salad bar. An unaccounted amount of produce was directly consumed by students on the farm during their visits.

One of our greatest accomplishments was how excited the students were while eating green beans immediately after picking them. Many of them commented that it was the best green bean, tomato, strawberry, pea, etc. that they had ever had. After one field trip, I had 20 students standing in line to receive more green beans.

Finally, there is a group of about 30 students who come out to farm every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday during nutrition break. On a few occasions, they literally ran out to the farm.

There is no doubt that the hands-on experience of teaching students how to grow food positively influences them to eat more fruits and vegetables, which is a major achievement. It has been phenomenal to see the students' perceptions of organic agriculture change throughout this project.

Thank you to Balboa Middle School for sharing your organic project!

Please join us in congratulating the recipients of the CCOF Foundation’s Future Organic Farmer Grants.