School to Farm Program explores selling opportunities

To those at LOHS who have not been introduced to the class School to Farm, it is an agricultural class started by history teacher Andrew Duden. As part of the experiential curriculum, students take a bus Luscher Farms almost every class to cultivate, harvest and learn about the benefits of local farming. 

At the beginning of the year, the class worked on selling basil. However, “that was more of a donation thing,” Duden explains. 

Now, Duden has grown the program into a source of tomatoes, garlic, onions, thyme and pears. He described that, over the course of one day, the class sold five pound bags of pears to 10 teachers. “I put [several five pound bags of pears] out there on the internet, we had 10 buyers, that is fifty pounds of pears, sold in literally 10 minutes.” 

When asked how many teachers school to farm has sold to he states,“so far this school year,  probably about 15-20.”  

He elaborated, “each box is 25 dollars and carries 8-10 pounds of food; pears are 10 dollars per five pound bag, which is about two dollars per pound.”

Duden expressed that he began selling to teachers to “benefit the program. We also pay kids during the summer to work, pay for the land and [cover] camp fees for kids to participate in the summer internship. There is a lot of cost [involved].” 

Though the class gets funding from the school, teachers buying produce supports the program significantly.

“It is about self-sustaining our program so that we are not a burden to the district. And this is a great market; teachers love buying food more than anyone else,” Duden concluded.