Since 2012, Schoolyard Farms (SYF) has worked tirelessly toward its mission to build healthy communities by teaching kids how to grow nutritious food that goes from their schoolyard to their plate. In this time, SYF has worked in partnership with two Title I schools in the Milwaukie-area to build and manage working farms on their schoolyards. SYF empowers students through weekly lessons in food-production, nutrition, science and more, and increases their access to fresh produce through monthly tastings of fruits and vegetables. SYF engages the broader community through a farm-based summer camp, a field trip program that brings neighboring schools to their school farms, and a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program that makes the school-grown produce available to community members throughout the Portland-metro area.
In 2016, SYF: taught 1,178 students where their food comes from, how to grow it and cook it; put 1.5 acres of school land into fruit and vegetable production; harvested over 6,000 pounds of produce from their school farms; sampled Oregon-grown fruits and vegetables to 700 students at three schools each month; hosted 15 field trips with neighboring schools, making the school farms accessible to 450 more students per year; provided summer camp to over 60 youth; and had 109 volunteers donate 1,595 hours to help build a healthier community.