By Beth Heller
Did you know that Ashwaubenon High School’s interior courtyard is host to an orchard, a koi pond complete with waterfall and floating lily pads, a greenhouse filled with tomato plants, raised beds full of lettuce and is soon to get a chicken coop?
We sure didn’t until we were invited to come take a look.
Betsy Farah, Registered Dietitian and the Ashwaubenon School District’s Child Nutrition Coordinator, was the one who told us about Dan’s work. She was excited by his recent proposal to sell school-grown romaine lettuce to the food service department, and impressed by his vision for a larger crop in the coming year. Betsy, who is active in the Live54218 Farm to School task force, loves the innovation aspect of the Farm to School movement – and finds that local food systems work challenges her to keep learning.
Betsy’s perspective? “I told Dan we’ll buy whatever he can grow!”
Dan Albrent, who teaches Biology at Ashwaubenon, spearheads what’s essentially a mini-food system within the school. Beyond providing a creative outlet for Albrent’s personal interest in gardening and fish (he teaches an elective in Ichthyology and is the Eco Club supervisor), he’s able to learn new skills – hydroponic and aquaponic management – on the job.
Lifelong learning can take place at the university, within a senior community, in your neighborhood and even on the job! Check out this video about Dan and Betsy’s work in Ashwaubenon!