Rappahannock County Nutrition Services/Farm-to-Table Program

Program Type: 
Academic Classrooms, School Cafeterias, Garden Classrooms
Grade Level/Age Group: 
High School, Middle School, Upper Elementary
Number of Individuals Program Serves: 
Year Founded: 
About the Program: 

The FARM-to-TABLE PROGRAM (aka “F2T”) is a partnership between Headwaters, the Rappahannock County Public Schools, and other community organizations. Planted at Rappahannock County High School in 2004, the program branched out and now provides fertile soil for learning to students in many disciplines at both the high school and Rappahannock County Elementary School.
Students mixing soil

MISSION: The Mission of the Farm-to-Table Program is to cultivate students who are good stewards of the earth and productive community members through classroom study of horticulture and nutrition, cultivation of school gardens, and hands-on experiences at local family farms.

Through F2T, students gain an appreciation of Rappahannock County’s agrarian culture and a sense of stewardship for the land. The program helps to preserve farming techniques and traditions, reinforce the ethic of conservation, introduce land-friendly career options, and give students an appreciation of where their food comes from.
Senoirs picking vegetables

WHAT WE DO: Farm-to-Table works with students of all ages, through the Culinary Arts, Horticulture, Industrial Technology, 6th/7th Exploratory, and other classes. Students create and maintain edible and ornamental gardens on school property, visit local farms to learn about crops and methods, study compost and soil science, learn about Rappahannock’s commitment to the preservation of agricultural lands, and study nutrition, hunger, and food security issues. They harvest, prepare, and consume their fresh produce, some of which is also sold, donated to those in need, contributed to nonprofit events, and shared with the school cafeterias. F2T also sponsors Seasonal & Local Foods Tastings in the cafeterias.
Student handling produce in the Farms to Table Program

FUNDING: Major support for the Farm-to-Table program is provided by the Rappahannock County Farm Bureau, the Young Farmland Fund, the Lapham Family, and the Rappahannock County Garden Club. Major grants have been received from the National Gardening Association and Lowe’s Toolbox for Education. F2T received national recognition in 2007, winning a “Healthy Sprouts Award” for hunger and nutrition education.
Students planting a tree

COMMUNITY: The Farm-to-Table Program’s success is due to the outstanding faculty, supportive administrators, and the efforts of a dedicated team of volunteer partner-growers with backgrounds in both agriculture and education. In addition to the major funders listed above, community partners include Oak Shade Farm, the Farm at Sunnyside, Mount Vernon Farm, Waterpenny Farm, and 4 Seasons Gardeners.

Plant a Row for the Hungry

•Help in the gardens
•pick produce in the summertime
•Volunteer at Seasonal & Local Food Tastings
•Build structures
•Remember the Farm-to-Table Program in your will
•Donate funds, supplies, or equipment

For more information, contact us at 540-987-3322 or contact Jen Rattigan, Farm-to-Table Program Coordinator, at farm2table@headwatersfdn.org

Program Members: