Roots Farm is a thriving agricultural space and an exciting outdoor classroom located on the edge of McDonogh’s campus. The farm brings students into contact with the natural world and serves as a dynamic acknowledgment of McDonogh’s heritage as a farm school. Since its founding in 2009, Roots has grown in size, scope, and impact. In addition to six acres of crops, the farm now boasts two barns for equipment and learning, as well as four active beehives and a coop with 12 hens.
Roots provides fresh produce for McDonogh’s dining service, food for the Maryland Food Bank, and hands-on educational opportunities for students from prekindergarten through twelfth grade. Additionally, Roots helps build a sense of community among McDonogh’s students, teachers, staff, parents, and alumni who eagerly tend to the chickens and share in the communal experience of planting and picking produce as they discover where food comes from.
To me, community is when students and adults want to ‘come back and give back’ to the farm because they feel the immediate connection of being part of something big and meaningful.