Students work on a Sherwood High School garden. PHOTO BY CAROLYN KOMATSOULIS SANDY SPRING — Tucked away on the grounds of Sherwood High School, lies a 1/3-acre farm surrounded by dense tree cover. There, science teacher Jill Coutts uses what used to be a failed tree nursery to teach students how to grow food, and connect with nature,
“I think connecting with the soil is important for kids,” Coutts said, “our students need to go outside and grow things because it is very satisfying.”
So What Else, a local charity focused on providing after-school programming for underserved kids, partnered with Sherwood to help organize the horticulture program.
“This is an experimental garden, where we are looking for long-term food solutions,” said Eric Lewis, a youth educator from So What Else.
The resource-heavy nature of modern food production is one problem that Lewis and the other volunteers are trying to solve. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, food production uses up 10 percent of the energy budget, accounts for 50 percent of land use, and 80 percent of the freshwater consumption in the United States.