Wednesday, May 6, 2009

RE-1 School Board Meeting May 13 - Proposal Document

Re: Garden, Greenhouse at RFHSWho we are:Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute, running a CSA Farm School, with a network of supporting organizations, and a mission to “grow farmers” for an emerging local food culture and economy. We will briefly introduce our partner organizations, Fat City Farms, C.O.R.E., the Basalt Thrift Store, and Slow Food Roaring Fork, and thank the School Board for this meeting, and for their questions, after.
Why we are before you:We are part of a growing national movement to improve our food supply in healthfulness, safety, and security, as well as to reduce the food industry’s “carbon footprint” by creating local food production and distribution networks. We are very fortunate in the Roaring Fork Valley, to have a history of farming and ranching, as well as excellent present-day instructors, experienced with growing food in this climate: Jerome Osentowski, Ken Kuhns, Jennifer Craig, and others. Some of the essential “glue” that binds all these efforts together is fundamental: improving the healthfulness of food for our children, in their school lunch. Giving them the understanding and the skills to grow their own food, and to learn how to grow it in ways that are healthy for the eater, as well as for the land, is “priceless”.
What we propose:
A partnership with RE-1 to provide the land and water at RFHS, for us to build a greenhouse and a fenced-in garden area, as a Carbondale Center for our CSA Farm School operations, and for the RE-1 School District’s emerging agricultural curricula. Our CSA Farm School will use garden and greenhouse facilities from early May through September (5 months) each year. Some of our Farm School instructors and graduating students will be available to assist your Teachers, as they prepare and run their own classes, from October through April (7 months) each year. We will use September to wind-down our operations, and to give your Teachers and their Students “tours” to orient them for their school year in the greenhouse. We will also be able to involve the classes in outdoor harvesting work during September and October, when they can reap some of our Summer crops for their cafeteria. We will also engage with your Teachers and Students in the Spring, as we come in to help plant the outdoor gardens in April, and take over for our CSA Farm School operations in May.
How we will accomplish this goal:· Fundraising efforts already underway, for private and foundation grants, for the design and construction, including the 2009 5 Point Film Festival, CORE, Brady Foundation and Cleveland Foundation donations;
· Greenhouse Dome, diameter 42-feet, with multi-wall polycarbonate greenhouse covering, vent panels and ventilating fans, controls, backup heating, aquaculture tanks, raised planting beds, potable water wash sink and irrigation systems, purchased with outside funding. We will place this structure outside the kitchen.
· Outdoor Garden fencing, terracing, irrigation, tool storage shed, soil, mulch, and annual and perennial plants, purchased with outside funding, and a confirmation from the Town of Carbondale, of ample water resources for the garden project;
· Construction and assembly of the greenhouse and garden area will be accomplished largely by volunteers, guided by CSA Farm School instructors and students, who will be working continuously through the Summer on it. If private funds are available in sufficient amounts, we will provide paid labor to accelerate the one-time construction process.
· Provide a Greenhouse Manager to “check in” frequently with RFHS Teachers, regarding maintenance of greenhouse climate control systems, backup heating, etc. As the RFHS curricula develop and Teachers gain experience, this position may revert to “on-call” status.
· CRMPI will provide complete liability insurance for property and participants in our CSA Farm School program during the Summer season, and will annually provide an insurance certificate, naming the Roaring Fork School District as additionally insured for CSA Farm School Summer operations.
· Complete communication, review and periodic inspection by Colorado Health Dept. inspector, for all agricultural operations on the site.
· Ongoing maintenance of greenhouse and garden areas, complete with replacement of damaged components and plants, as necessary.
What we will need from the RE-1 School District:· A letter of support for this project;
· Co-sponsorship of an agreement, with a termination clause, to lease the greenhouse and garden areas to CRMPI, for its CSA Farm School, with all conditions detailed;
· Some help with security, to focus one or two security cameras on the greenhouse and garden areas, to help deter, or to determine identity of vandals, if possible. We would rather deal with some sort of vandalism loss, than to create a prison-like atmosphere for our school farm.
· Access to land, irrigation water for the garden and potable water for the greenhouse. We will seek donation of a solar photovoltaic electric system for ventilation and heat storage fans, with batteries. We may request an electric-grid connection from the School, and use the Solar PV to sell electricity back through the meter, when the sun is shining.
· Insurance protection of RFHS students and other local public and private school participants, during their use of the facilities during Autumn, Winter and Spring seasons, by RE-1 School District insurance, already in place.
What opportunities will this present to RE-1 students and their community?· Real, homegrown food for lunch! “I grew this!”
· Farming curriculum, uniting science, sociology, zoology, civic studies, language, art, into FOOD. Priceless!
· Extracurricular learning through CSA Farm School, Summer programs, internships, lifelong education.
· Creating a culture of locally made food, will help generate the evolving “eco-science” of inhabiting this place, in a way that is healthy for the land, as well as for the people. This is exactly the science we need now, and always.
· Creating a culture of locally made food will keep a major economic resource re-circulating in the local community, re-generating local prosperity, supporting schools, families, businesses. We will begin building this economy together, starting with our schools.
We hope everyone is enthusiastically interested in this partnership and project. We are already underway, helping create a small geodesic dome greenhouse at Yampah Mountain High School, scheduled to be built in April. We intend to help all the willing schools in the Roaring Fork Valley to enter this emerging curriculum, with greenhouses and gardens wherever possible. We hope to reach our goal of an agricultural facility at each of the Valley’s public and private elementary and secondary schools, within the next half-decade.
Roaring Fork High School Gardens:
CSA Farm School Video Trailer:
Food – The Movie (Spring 2009) Trailer:
Yampah Mtn. High School Greenhouse:
Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute:
Fat City Farms, Inc.:

To download a printable copy of this Proposal Document, CLICK HERE.

No comments:

Post a Comment