East & West Forest Students Explore Green Careers

| November 13, 2017

JEFFERSON CO., Pa. – Twenty-one high school students were immersed in an educational trip to Quiet Creek Herb Farm focusing on sustainable gardening, organic cooking, and value-added products.

(Pictured: Instruction on mushroom growing. From left to right Brayden Barnes, Eoghan Montgomery, and Thomas Cochran. and Rusty Orner.)

Quiet Creek Herb Farm and 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 were shared as the core of Quiet Creek’s educational philosophy. This educational experience was sponsored by the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR), an agency promoting work-readiness for 14- to 22-year-old students with disabilities.

On November 3, students and teachers were engaged in meaningful activities and skill building by planting garlic; understanding the soil food web; making and partaking in a Farm-to-Table meal consisting of pesto bruschetta, tomato salad, non-GM (genetically modified) corn chips, apples, chocolate no-bakes, and lemon verbena/stevia tea; in addition, students prepared sweet peppers for drying in order to make a value-added product, Soup Booster.

This ongoing relationship between the organizations will offer students opportunities to become a landscape gardener, herbal shop owner, mushroom grower, recycling coordinator, solar installer, nutrition consultant, composting expert, natural beauty specialist and more, through hands-on immersion in herbal soap making, growing vegetables and fruits sustainably, worm composting food waste, cultivating shiitake mushrooms, making fruit leather, cooking with organic foods, designing a green wall mural, making herbal salves, generating electricity with solar and wind power, conserving natural resources, thinking ecologically, and living healthful sustainable lives.

The Quiet Creek Team, Claire and Rusty Orner, will visit East and West Forest High Schools throughout the year for in-class sessions on Environmental Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics (STEAM). Students will return to Quiet Creek in the spring of 2018.

Qualifying junior and senior high students may apply for paid 2018 summer internships at Quiet Creek when approved by OVR.

Quiet Creek Herb Farm is located at 93 Quiet Creek Lane, Brookville, Pa.

For scheduling opportunities, contact Hillary Hubbell at 814-651-9000 or hhubbell@pa.gov.

Hubbell is the Early Reach Coordinator, PA Department of Labor and Industry-Office of Vocational Rehabilitation in the Erie District Office.

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