Ridge Spring-Monetta Middle-High transforming to farm-to-table school

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AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. (WJBF) – Ridge Spring-Monetta Middle-High School is converting into a healthy living campus by putting a tasty spin on Agricultural Science.

RSM is the first school in the district to offer a farm-to-table class.

The new program benefits everyone in the county because once the crops are ready they’ll be enjoyed by all Aiken County students.

“This is science,” said Agriculture teacher Michael Crim. “This is the original science.”

Aiken County student, William Newsome says he doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty to enjoy the fruits and vegetables of his labor.

“After I get these planted we are going to put them in those pots with water so they will grow,” Newsome told WJBF NewsChannel 6.

Seeds of jalapenos and peppers aren’t the only things growing, in the greenhouse, at Ridge Spring-Monetta Middle-High School.

The Agriculture teacher is planting a more important seed, the seed of knowledge.

“They’re producing what they are going to be eating,” Crim said. “It teaches them where food comes from, it teaches them a little bit of management skills.”

Crim is leading the new farm-to-table initiative in Aiken County.

For a class period students go to the greenhouse to learn what it takes to run a farm.

“You have to make sure you don’t flood the plants. You have to make sure they have enough water. You have to keep an eye on them. Different plants need different sun level and if you give them too much sun they either burn and if you don’t give them enough they won’t grow.” Newsome said.

“And you’ve learned all of that just from being in this class?” Asked NewsChannel 6’s Stefany Bornman.

“Yes,” he said.

This fresh idea will eventually be served in the cafeteria of all Aiken County schools.

It gives kids a chance to learn essential farming skills and expand their taste.

“I’m excited to see what we can bring in. I hear kids say all the time well I don’t like that. Well have you ever had it? Well no.” Tiffany Middlebrooks, R.S.M. Health Science teacher and Registered Nurse, said.

School leaders say they will also be selling some of the crops in the spring.

The money will be used to restock on supplies for the next harvest.

They also hope to expand the program to other schools in Aiken County.

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