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