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Spotlight: Alta Vista High's Farm-to-Table Program

In September’s Spotlight, the MVLA Board of Trustees celebrated horticulture, nutrition and chickens! Really they honored the Science students of Alta Vista High School and their Farm-to-Table program.

Alta Vista High Teacher Shannon Wernette thought up and started the Farm-to-Table program five years ago and it has been thriving and inspiring students ever since. The project is funded by an Innovative Learning Grant from the MVLA High School Foundation.

This mini farm is tucked away behind the academic buildings so most people don’t know that there are chickens, goats and vegetable crops thriving right by Highway 85! 

The students built the chicken coops, the raised garden beds and hydroponic system. They care for goats and a colorful coop of heritage-breed chickens. They grow herbs on classroom window sills and veggies in a small garden. In recent months, they’ve harvested hundreds of tomatoes, peppers, squash and beans. Alta Vista’s Environmental Science and Health Science Careers class students maintain the farm and harvest vegetables. They also care for the chickens, collect the eggs and have learned to “candle” them to check the development of the chicken embryo inside.

It is our pleasure to shine a light on Shannon’s innovative teaching and the students hours of work and great accomplishment.