August 10th, 2017 is a day that I look forward to for many reasons… It’s the first day of school! It’s also the beginning of a new involvement for me in helping the students. I’ve been asked to be on the Paxton School (Paxton, FL) Agriculture Department’s Community Advisory Committee. It’s a voluntary position that will allow me to assist the new Ag teacher, Mr. Nate Moore, in teaching the kids about growing plants with an agricultural/horticultural purpose and a lot more!
I intend to teach them as many aspects of the business as I can, because growing plants from seed is only the basics of learning about a grower’s involvement in a career in agriculture. They need to learn how to plan, maximize their investment, work efficiently, brand their products, sell in the real world marketplace, and see projects through to the end while starting the next cycle to keep their business going. In doing all of that they will also see how they impact their community by adding to its local economy, beautification, and building relationships.
Having a garden behind Florida Farmers Market was in my original drawings from back in 2012 before the market was even open, and in the last two years, I have worked hard to make it a reality. Now I can use it for its original purpose which is helping young people get involved in gardening with a purpose. It’s a small scale operation that can have a big impact! Mrs. Neale has already handled the hurdle of students having permission to “leave campus” to tend to the garden, which is HUGE! Next I am going to rely on our community to help us build the program from scratch. We are going to need some great project ideas, supplies to get them done, people to buy produce and plants, and photos of their successes growing in your yards around town.
These kids are the means by which we will be fed and clothed as we age, so let’s teach them the importance of hard work, innovation, and community building. It all starts with farmers, and less people are choosing farming as their career path. That has to change… be part of the change, and help me teach our kids! I appreciate your involvement in advance.
Dave Palmer is the owner of Florida Farmers Market a neighboring property of Paxton School (K-12) in Paxton, FL. He is also co-founder of Grow and Eat It! Join us on Facebook as we work together to shape our future in agriculture. http://www.facebook.com/groups/GrowAndEatIt/