Maplewood Academy has revived our farm program under the leadership of Terry Nennich, Maplewood’s Vice Principal for Finance. Terry, who was raised in an agricultural family, led out in planting a variety of fruits and vegetables on about 5 acres this past spring, to both sell to the community and supplement our own cafeteria supply. Students assisted in planting as well as weeding and caring for the crops over the summer, and now are actively involved in the fall harvest. Crops include an acre of sweet corn, quarter acre of potatoes, and hundreds of tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, squash and pumpkin plants and much more. Also, much of the work this summer has gone into growing almost 2 acres of strawberries, which will be harvested next June with student labor as well as U-Pick. It has been a unique experience for these students, many of whom have never been on a farm (or even in a garden), to work outdoors seeing how things grow and what is involved.
The Lord has blessed, and the fall harvest has gone very well. So far over $2000 of produce has been used in the cafeteria this school year, and Terry, along with several students have sold part of our harvest at our local farmer’s market on Wednesdays as well as from a vegetable stand set up on the Maplewood Academy campus. Many community members have enjoyed purchasing our vegetables and we have developed quite a reputation for our awesome sweet corn! Not only have we been able to share our harvest with the community but many of our customers have asked about Maplewood Academy and who we are. It is has given us a platform for conversation about Adventist Education and our existence in our community. Reviving our farm has been an exciting adventure for our school and community through the sharing of our harvest and sharing our mission. We are excited to see how things “grow” in the future!
Stacy Stocks, Maplewood Academy Principal
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