The Montezuma School to Farm Project (MSTFP) unites our rural heritage with our growing future by engaging students at the crossroads of sustainable agriculture, resource conservation, health, and economics through educational experiences in outdoor garden classes, on field trips, and in summer programming.
About the Organization
Imagine a world where we all know the source of our food and value the farmers and ranchers that grow it for us. Where we are all familiar with innovate water and soil conservation methods that grow our crops and protect our natural resources. Drip systems, mulching, composting, drought tolerant plant and tree varieties, watershed knowledge and best agricultural practices become like knowing your last name—obvious and easily conveyed. And where every child, family, and community member has access to fresh, affordable, local food.
Since 2009, the Montezuma School to Farm Project (MSTFP), a program of the Mancos Conservation District in southwestern Colorado, has focused on providing integrated, hands-on, school garden classes in Montezuma County. It began with a farm field trip for 40 Mancos students initiated by AmeriCorps members in 2009. In the eight years since those barn doors first opened to local kids, the program has expanded: farm field trips, summer programming, a 2 acre School Production Area (perfect for high school Farm Corps) and a cutting edge curriculum for more than 2,400 students on a weekly basis.
The school garden classrooms provide accessible living laboratories where diet/nutrition, active lifestyle, water and soil conservation, and core curriculum lessons intersect. Whether it’s writing a poem about a plant’s life cycle, actively learning the science behind seed germination, studying the history of drought in the Southwest, cooking with fresh vegetables, or translating seed packet instructions into Spanish or Navajo. The garden is easily woven into every subject. Classes are an integral part of the school day so that learning in the school garden coincides with important science and math core lessons. Students integrate their learning in a meaningful way because they are an active participant in their learning experience.
How to Donate
Donate here or through Mancos Valley Resources