Thank you, Jake Martin of the St. Augustine Record, for this great write-up!
FCTC Culinary Students Impress Judges at ‘Rustic’ Cook-Off
Tucked away in St. Augustine is a boarding school for sensory-impaired children pre-school through 12th grade. The largest of its kind in Florida, it is Florida’s primary public school for children who are deaf or blind.
On April 21, Rype & Readi Farm became the classroom for the day when two 3rd grade classes, led by teachers Sheryl Bray and Elizabeth Wilcox, made their first field trip here.
Jean-Sebastien Gros greeted the children and took them on a tour of the farm, beginning with the hydroponic garden, where the children experienced the touch and smell of fresh herbs and picked some ripe squash.
A short walk away, the children met the R&R animals and had lots of fun petting and feeding the friendly pigs, calves, donkeys, chickens, and, of course, the twin baby goats born in February. Boris, the Russian Blue, and the ever playful farm dog, Lucq, were also on hand to greet and entertain the children.
From there, the children were led to the market where they were taught about the many local fruit and vegetables this area is known for… sugar cane, honey, blueberries, peaches, goat’s milk, squash, watermelon, and much more. Everyone helped carry a variety of foods to the picnic tables under the tent where R&R staff prepared the items for tasting. In all, students tasted about 25 food and drink items, both familiar and unfamiliar.
“Sebastien and the Rype & Readi staff were great!” said Sheryl Bray, Blind Elementary third-grade teacher. “We liked everything from exploring the plants to petting the animals, and especially enjoyed eating all the different types of fruits and vegetables.”
The group wrapped up their field trip by eating their school lunches outdoors and then petting and saying their goodbyes to the attentive animals.
But the story doesn’t end there. These two 3rd grade classes will be the first in this area to participate in R&R’s new Fractional Shares for Schools program, in which the students will germinate lettuce seeds in their classroom to plant in our hydroponic stacks and later return on a field trip to harvest and prepare wraps with our farm chef.
We believe all young minds are filled with promise and possibility. Rype & Readi Farm Market is organized to inspire possibilities in agriculture that can lead to exciting futures. We invite all educators to commiserate on our farm for fun, food, and discovery.
Say hello to the Florida School for the Deaf & Blind on their Facebook.
For more information or to reserve a visit to the farm for your group, please email: RypeNReadi@gmail.com
In days gone by, children knew the vegetables on their plate were grown in a garden, the fried chicken they loved so much was also a farm product, and the glass of milk they enjoyed with their favorite homemade cookie was compliments of Bessie the cow or Nanny the goat.
Not so with the newest generation. Today’s children are more apt to recognize brand names such as McDonald’s or Kraft Mac and Cheese than they are the name of a vegetable. In fact, it is reported than a third of schoolchildren don’t know that vegetables provide vital vitamins and 7% don’t know that cheese is a dairy product.
Rype & Readi would like to help change all that. That’s why we’re inviting local schools and groups to schedule field trips to our farm and why we’re also offering fractional shares of our farm for those interested.
We believe every trip to a farm can be educational, rewarding, and fun! For children who have never pulled a carrot from the ground, gathered eggs, or petted a goat, a visit to the Rype & Readi Farm can be a real discovery!
A favorite of visitors of all ages at Rype & Readi are the newest additions to the farm – two baby goats born on Opening Day, February 20, 2015. Born to pigmy parents Baileys & Cream, visitors helped name our adorable twins Kahlua and Gomez.
Other R&R farm animals not to be missed include Pedro & Paprika (our chickens), Clyde & Monty (our donkeys), Betsy, Zoey, Maybelline, Cole, Vinny & Annabelle (our cows), Boris the Russian Blue cat, and Lucq, Managing Partner Jean-Sebastien’s beloved dog, who comes from a long line of sheep-herding border dogs in the village of Lucq-de-bearn in France. (Yes, Lucq actually flew from France to America.)
Small bags of animal food are offered, should the children want to feed the animals.
Children can see not only rows and rows of vegetables and flowers growing in our garden, but can see a modern hydroponic garden that was installed with the help of the local branch of the UF PWACS. They’ll also enjoy a peek at our Shiitake Mushroom patch that was created with the help of the Exotic Earth Mushrooms team in January of this year. Depending on which time of year they visit, there might even be an opportunity to pick a fresh orange from a tree or even some fresh blueberries.
A visit inside the store can yield even more discoveries for the children as (depending on the time of year) they might find Easter Egg radishes, rare Okinawan potatoes which, when sliced open, are a beautiful purple color, edible orchids, delicate microgreens, mushrooms growing from bags and in blocks, Honeymoon melons, fresh papaya, avocados, a variety of squash, zucchini, fresh green beans, strawberries, fresh honeycomb, bee pollen, cool and refreshing Hibiscus tea, fresh lemonade… and much, much more.
Who knows? A trip to the farm might turn that picky eater into a food connoisseur or even inspire a future farmer. It will definitely be something they won’t soon forget.
Teachers, please ask about Rype & Readi math, science, and nutrition lesson plans to inspire your students to germinate lettuce seeds in your classroom to plant in our hydroponic stacks and later return on a field trip to harvest and prepare wraps with our farm chef. Also, what is more adorable than a class adopted farm animal mascot? We believe all young minds are filled with promise and possibility. Rype & Readi Farm Market is organized to inspire possibilities in agriculture that can lead to exciting futures. We invite all educators to commiserate on our farm for fun, food, and discovery.
For more information or to reserve a visit to the farm for your group, please contact Jean-Sebastien Gros at RypeNReadi@gmail.com
Rype & Readi Farm Market, in exclusive partnership with Wesley Wells Farms, will offer fresh, local, free-range chickens beginning on March 28. Wesley Wells Farms is well known for humanely raising sustainably-farmed local chickens following best organic practices.
- Bird for 2 (< 3 lbs.) $10
- Bird for 3 (< 4 lbs.) $15
- Bird for 4 or more (4 lbs. +) $20
All Rype & Readi chickens are antibiotic-free and raised the old-fashioned way, in healthy pasture environments and with pure grass feed. They are never subjected to harmful chemicals, genetic modifications, or inhumane conditions. The result is a healthier, tastier alternative to industrially-raised chickens.
Supply is very limited, and advanced orders are recommended. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your free-range chickens. The market is open daily from 8 am to 7 pm. For more information, call 904-429-3070.
Also coming in May: Local Berkshire hogs, pasture-raised and custom butcher-cut.
Rype & Readi is a 22-acre farm-to-fork marketplace offering food, fun, and a fresh source for premium, local farm fare at an affordable price. Creating a community of related agribusinesses, our products are grown right here at home: in Rype & Readi gardens and at neighboring farms. More than a market, Rype & Readi is a family-friendly St. Johns County destination for families, chefs, farmers, and people that just love to eat local foods. Stop by the Rype & Readi Farm Market today – there’s always something to see, do, and taste!
Our premium fair includes fresh organic produce including garden vegetables: hydroponic lettuce & herbs, mushrooms, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, peaches, and more. Working with local neighboring farms, we offer an expanded line of products and provide a convenient market place to find local favorites with ingredients to enhance them.
Our farm is set up to accommodate school groups (teachers, please ask about our fractional share lesson plans and field trips), cooking classes, farm feasts, catered events, Zen zones for private gatherings, and even a petting zoo. On opening day we were blessed with birth of two baby goats! Born to pigmy parents Baileys & Cream, visitors helped name our adorable twins Kahlua and Gomez!
Partnering with some of the best chefs, restaurateurs, farmers, and agricultural groups in our area, our blog will feature information about everything Farm-to-Fork we think you would find interesting. We encourage you to comment and participate in this blog! Please check back regularly and let us know if there are any topics or events that may interest you. Let us know what you think and what farm fare you’d like to see at Rype & Readi. And please support the other local farms and restaurants in St. Johns County. Together, we can make St. Johns County a farm-to-fork leader in premium, quality food and healthy living.