School board members get closeup look at farm life at The Hill

School Board member Milton Nichols, right, holds Cypress, a Flemish Giant rabbit, while talking to Resource Management students, from left, Barrett Dempsey, McKenzie Warner and Shainah Walker during a tour of the CHHS Farm May 6. “Y’all do a great job out here with this farm,” Nichols said.

Ella McAlister, Staff Writer

Milk and eggs don’t just come from the grocery store.

“I think it’s a good idea for children to learn where their food comes from,” District 3 Board of Education member Ann Jolley said during a tour this morning of the CHHS Farm. “I grew up on a 100-acre dairy farm, which is where our milk and eggs would come from. My husband grew up on a farm, so we still grow our own food and plants. With a little bit of effort, you can raise anything.”

The farm, located behind the cafeteria and cared for by Angel Pilcher and her students, is home to a pig, a turkey, 21 chickens, six ducks, 14 quail and five rabbits.

“This is the seventh year we have had our farm,” Pilcher said. “We grow garlic, carrots, onions, potatoes, tomatoes, corn, peas, beans, kale, parsnips, watermelons, blackberries, herbs and flowers.”

Pilcher, who teaches Resource Management and Food and Nutrition, often uses products from the farm in the classroom, and her students sometimes pitch in to tend the plants and animals.

“When we make food in the classroom, we usually use the chicken or duck eggs,” said freshman Mylee Castille, a Resource Management student who was munching on farm fresh kale during the school board’s tour. “We get to come out here and help on sunny days.”

School board members Milton Nichols (District 1), Michelle Henley (District 2) and Shelia Riley (District 4) joined Jolley on the farm tour, petting the animals, chatting with students, and learning about seeds and plants.

“Y’all do a great job with this farm,” Nichols said as he cradled a Flemish Giant rabbit named Cypress.

Pilcher said it was important for the school board to see the farm.

“We wanted to showcase the hard work that our students are putting in every day for this project,” she said, adding that the farm gives students the ability to put the 21st century skills of problem-solving, collaboration and creativity into practice.