Spotlight on Avon Old Farms School and Their High Tunnel Classroom
Avon Old Farms School, located in Avon, Connecticut, is a private high school for boys. The school offers a variety of courses in many different subjects, as well as extracurricular activities including sports, music, theater and a long list of clubs. Last year, the school started a faculty garden, but it soon became overgrown with weeds, producing very little. Avon Old Farms hired Kelly Bull as their garden consultant to help design and operate a more successful faculty garden, as well as a student garden.
When Bull started at the school, all of the growing was done outdoors. With Connecticut’s cold, snowy winters, Bull knew Avon Old Farms needed “a protected place to grow” throughout the year. At her previous job at Homestead Gardens in Maryland, Bull discovered Growers Supply and turned to them when looking for a way to extend the school’s growing season. She looked at a Premium Round Style High Tunnel the company offered and knew it was a great solution. Explains Bull, “Growers Supply had a helpful website. I liked all the information listed on each high tunnel option.”
Avon Old Farms’ new high tunnel is the ideal season extender for growing greens. Bull notes, “I wanted the high tunnel to supply most of the greens in our school salad bar.” She continues, “It has been very productive. We have gotten a lot of produce out of it. The structure is very spacious, with easy roll-up sides. It even looks nice!”
The high tunnel has not only increased yields, but has made teaching students about gardening easier as well. “It’s nice that we don’t have to cancel gardening time when it rains because we can go under the high tunnel instead of working in the garden.” Bull adds, “Next, I am going to build a make-shift table and start the fall crop seedlings inside.” For a school that prides itself on offering a well-rounded education, being able to add year-round growing to the activities list has been great for the school, as well as the faculty and students.