Roots Celebrates Growth at Farm to Fork Luncheon - News & Photos - McDonogh School

News & Photos

Roots Celebrates Growth at Farm to Fork Luncheon

There have been many changes to Roots Farm since the seeds for a community garden at McDonogh were sown more than 10 years ago. The growth from a one-acre garden to a six-acre farm was celebrated at a Farm to Fork luncheon in the Roots barn on Friday, September 14.

Guests who contributed their financial resources, time, and energy to the farm during the past decade enjoyed fresh green beans picked by the prefirst students and potato salad made with potatoes planted by the fifth grade last spring and dug by the fourth graders earlier this week. Linwoods Restaurant prepared their popular heirloom tomato and mozzarella salad made with Roots' tomatoes and basil, and The Elephant restaurant made deviled eggs with eggs from the Roots' hens. Honey cakes, using the nectar from the farm’s industrious bees, were served for dessert.

Head of School Dave Farace ’87 thanked the guests for their many contributions over the years and Director of Roots Sharon Hood spoke about the learning that takes place at the farm. “This place is a classroom,” she said. “There are no walls. The ceiling is the sky and the floor is the ground where kids dig and explore.”

After lunch, guests joined the prekindergarten classes, who were on their first outing to Roots, for a visit to the chicken run. Together, they fed the hens Candyland cherry tomatoes grown by the current second grade, and then explored the farm.

Also on hand were three sophomores who recalled their first visit to Roots as kindergartners in 2008. At the time, they were given the task of helping to prepare the soil for growth by removing rocks from the land. That visit and each one since has been both meaningful and memorable.

As guests departed from the event, they could not help but notice a new sign hanging on the fence announcing Roots’ official designation as a member of the Farm to Food Bank network. Each year, Roots donates thousands of pounds of fresh produce, grown and harvested by McDonogh students, to the Maryland Food Bank as part of the school’s mission to “do the greatest possible amount of good.”