GRITS Program at the Burwash-Kjelstad Farm
Farm to Table Vision Taking Shape in Eatonville
In May of 2016 Eatonville School District took possession of roughly 3.5 acres of farmland around an over 100-year-old farmhouse, barn, and various outbuildings. The land and buildings were the last piece of a larger salmon restoration project in the Ohop Valley by the Nisqually Land Trust and Nisqually Tribe. Not wanting to destroy the buildings left on the farm, the Land Trust and Tribe approached Eatonville School District about taking the farm and incorporating in into the school district’s programs.
Superintendent Krestin Bahr worked with local legislators and representatives from Pierce County to clear various zoning and right of way issues before the school district could take possession of the farm. Once the concerns were cleared the district officially took over the farm.
ESD has worked with GruB out of Olympia to craft a vision for the future of the farm. That work led to two events where members of the public and school community were invited to provide input. From there Eatonville's maintenance team has worked hard to make the farm safe for students and beginning in the fall of 2017 students began attending classes at the farm full time.
Interested in learning more about the farm? Contact Tod Morrish.
It is a busy time on our farm and in Sept. a lot has already been accomplished. Our start included taking back the summer garden from the weeds and beginning our lasagna compost pile. Pumpkins, green beans, corn, sunflower and pumpkin seeds and beets have been harvested. We celebrated our corn harvest with a corn feed and home made corn muffins as well as all the students that had September birthdays. Looking into October we are practicing our drama production of the story book, The Little Old Lady that wasn't afraid of anything. Students will perform this for all our Preschool and Kindergarten classes as well as allowing each of them to pick out one of our pumpkins that was grown on the farm to take home. Be looking for times and locations that we will have pumpkins for sale for our community.