Local Forest County high school students are immersed in an educational program called Green Careers, specifically learning how to prune fruit trees, planting apple trees, making earthen oven pizzas, cooking shiitake mushrooms, and harvesting culinary herbs. The March-June 2018 program included a field experience to Quiet Creek focusing on sustainable gardening, organic cooking, and value-added products and hands-on instruction by Ashley Sweda. Quiet Creek Herb Farm & School of Country Living is a non-profit dedicated to increasing the public awareness of conservation, ecological thinking and healthful living. Student ownership building, collaboration, support, inquiry and recognition are core components of Quiet Creek’s educational philosophy. In addition, students will participate with developing the school‘s greenhouse for food production by learning about the soil food web, propagating vegetables and culinary herbs by seeds and cuttings, medicinal plants for skin care, irrigation, and more.
This educational experience is sponsored by the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR), an agency promoting work-readiness for 14-22 year old students who qualify for its services.
The ongoing relationship between three organizations (Forest School District, OVR and Quiet Creek) will continue to offer students career development opportunities to become greenhouse operators, natural cosmetologists, landscape gardeners, Shiitake mushroom growers, recycling coordinators, nutrition consultants, composting specialists, and more.
Academically, the program promotes Environmental Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics (STEAM). In the future, qualifying junior and senior high students may apply for paid summer internships at Quiet Creek when approved by OVR.
Left to Right Shania Styen, Zack Hawk, and CJ Guzzi. Instructor standing behind the students is Ahsley Sweda