BRIDGEWATER – During the 2014-2015 school year, Somerset County Vocational & Technical High School (SCVTHS) will participate in the Jersey Fresh Farm to School Recognition Program, which will recognize and promote efforts to serve Jersey Fresh produce and support local agriculture. 

With the help and partnership of Maschio’s Food Services, the SCVTHS Agricultural Science and Culinary Arts programs will coordinate monthly events to grow and serve a variety of items on their daily lunch menu.  In addition, during Jersey Fresh Farm to School Week from Sept. 22 through Sept. 26, SCVTHS will strengthen the school communities’ knowledge about agriculture and nutrition, increase students’ consumption of Jersey Fresh fruits and vegetables and increase market opportunities for farmers.

Agriculture Science Instructor Erik Fargo began production on a small scale during the 2013-2014 school year and hopes to “put the rubber to the road” by increasing the output for the current school year. A variety of growing techniques will be utilized including a hydroponic system and oak pallet planters, as well as the addition of new LED growing lights.  With the expansion, Fargo aims to up his harvests and offerings by growing tomatoes, peppers, onions, carrots, leeks, lettuce and spinach. 

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All of this will be incorporated into student lunches over the course of the school year.  Beyond the health benefits of the program, Teresa Morelli, Supervisor of Academics at SCVTHS, was very excited about the job opportunities this program will expose to the students. 

“This program will open our students to many opportunities, not only for now but also in the future," she said. "Students will be able to see other job opportunities they may not have thought about and are available to them.”

For more information contact James Strickhart at (908) 526 – 8900 x7169 or jstrickhart@scvts.net.