March 15, 2013
Today School Board security staff came and locked the final gate to the Brickyard site. There are a few important points that should be made clear.
The School Board has no plans for the use of this site in the near future.
Neither the previous farmer nor Brickyard Educational Farm has a lease on this property. However the previous farmer has written a letter to the School Board offering to tend the land in the interim, in order to ensure it maintains its organic status. If the farm is to be used for the educational programming which has the support of the majority of Montgomery County elected officials, the property does need to be tended. The School Board has not responded to that offer.
The future of our farm-based educational vision for this property is time-sensitive, as it involves seasons, soils, and organic farming practices.
- Untended weeds will immediately begin to grow and thrive
- In 3 months those weeds will seed and take over the cover crop, which will make starting up an educational program on the property much more labor intensive, and depending on which weeds, could jeopardize the organic status of the farm.
- In 6 months the cover crop will need to be tended to if it has survived the weed growth and the organic matter from those harvested crops will need to returned to the ground so that the organic matter can break down, essentially feeding the living ecosystem within the soil.
Brickyard Educational Farm's vision is wholly dependent on timing. A delay will limit this year's focus to in-class presentations, community work, and fundraising. Brickyard Educational Farm wants to participate in an open and public proposal process, which unfortunately will not happen in time for the following deadlines:
- In order for the Farm Incubator Program to become a reality this year the young farmers would need access to the land immediately.
- In order for the farm to school field trip plot to serve students the seedlings would need to be planted within the next month.
- In order for the Seed Saving apprenticeship program to become a reality the corn and soybeans seeds would need to be planted within the next month.
Now, if this makes you think we may not have much to do in the meantime, you are mistaken. Please Save The Date! June 14th, Brickyard Educational Farm is hosting a celebratory Fundraiser to thank you! Whether you are an elected official, a local teacher, a volunteer or an avid supporter, we could not have come all this way without you. And we figured since we are going to be fundraising we might as well have a party where we can all come together to share our ideas, our resources and our energy for making our vision for Montgomery County public school students a reality.
Even with locks on the gates, we are closer to our goal than ever before and like so many times in the past, we can make it reality with your help!