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SSES Launching Educational Farmland Program

Young minds at Samuel Staples Elementary School will have the opportunity to learn more about the importance of farming this fall when a new educational program will begin on the farmland surrounding the school. Students will learn about the process of growing food, and how different communities get their food from various sources.

SSES Principal Kimberly Fox Santora feels that it is important for students to learn where food comes from and to become invested in Easton’s agricultural roots and rich farming history.

“As our students live in a town that has several successful farms, I think it is essential for them to learn that their neighbors who farm are a super important part of what makes Easton so wonderful,”said Fox Santora.

Jake and Brittany Conover — Rick Falco Photo

The program will be run by Jacob Conover, the manager at Silverman’s Farm, and his wife Brittany, who is an agricultural scientist and runs Shaggy Coo’s farm. The curriculum will cover topics such as soil science, the growing and harvesting of food, and historical lessons on the agrarian roots of Easton.

“It gives me personally an opportunity to talk to kids, or do something for teachers so that they can do it for the kids, and help facilitate something that can encourage kids to be interested in agriculture and that sector of the sciences,” said Conover. He looks forward to giving students the opportunity to “have the same influences that I had growing up where you just experience a small spark and you’re like ‘wow, this is really cool–I think I might want to do this for the rest of my life!,” said Conover.

Jake Conover checks vegetables at Silverman’s Farm. — Rick Falco Photo

The farmland was previously leased to the Speckled Rooster Farm, but a transfer of the lease to Silverman’s Farm was approved unanimously at a recent Board of Selectmen meeting on May 19. Silverman’s Farm has committed to seeing the lease through its full term, which lasts until April 25, 2024.

“Silverman’s Farm is such a special part of Easton, and I know Easton residents are proud to have them as neighbors,” said Fox Santora. “I love the idea of partnering with such well-established and highly respected farmers. As experts, who better can help us ‘grow’ this program?”

Sunflowers at Gilbertie’s Farm in Easton.–Rick Falco Photo

Conover intends to grow a useable crop on the land as well as a visible flower, like a sunflower. Due to the timing of the approval however, they intend to start with the basics.

“This year we’re going to focus around primarily cover crops,” Conover said. “We may incorporate some fall stuff in there because we still have plenty of time for that, but its going to be based around soil health, letting the soil get rejuvenated, and prepping the soil, and that’s what we’re primarily going to try and focus on with the educational aspect – understanding the soil, what’s beneath your feet and how that correlates and translates to the things we grow.”

For more on Easton’s farms, see the following stories from the Courier archives:

Sherwood Farm Preserves the Past, Embraces the Future

Harvest Happiness at Silverman’s Farm

Gilbertie’s Organics Reaps Bountiful Harvest

Shaggy Coos Farm Under New Management

Sport Hill Farm Celebrates 20 Years

The Colorful History of Snow’s Farm

J&L Orchids Bloom in Easton

Easton Tree Farms Provide Holiday Cheer Amid Covid-19