MONTVILLE, NJ – Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is an important part of Matthew Myers’ science curriculum. A seventh grade science teacher, Myers teaches students organic and sustainable farming techniques in one of the court yard areas of the Robert R. Lazar Middle School. His five classes spend Farm Friday’s tending, planting and harvesting crops. In addition, students can be found throughout the spring working in the garden during lunch and before and after school.
Arugula, mustard greens, lettuce and other microgreens are among the crops students plant. Prior to planting, they prepare the soil with compost made from kitchen scraps collected in the cafeteria. Rain barrels collect water for irrigation.
“We plan to put gutters on the shed,” Myers explained. “That will help us collect more rain water for irrigation.”
Once harvested, crops are used for lunches, and some are sold to teachers, staff and others as part of the CSA model. Some plants are also allowed to go to seed. The money earned through CSA, as well as the harvesting of seeds, helps to sustain the garden for future farmers in Meyer’s classes year after year.