Community, Upper School

Promoting Food Justice

The entire junior class pitched in for three days at the Helsing Junction Farms, in Rochester, Washington, on May 17-19. They labored in a variety of projects, including setting up 6,000 feet of tomato trellis, and assisting in the remodel of a barn used for packaging.

The service project is part of a long-standing tradition at The Northwest School. Students put in 8-5 shifts of hard work focused on building and improvements to support local farms.

Helsing Junction Farm was founded in 1992 as one of the country's first Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) operations. The organic farm began with 75 members and has grown to over 1,100 shareholders. Helsing Junction created a CSA Food Bank Program in 2001, whereby the farm matches donations from their members, providing fresh produce for local food banks. The farm now donates nearly 20,000 pounds per year of organic produce.

Says junior Adele M.: "Helsing Junction Farms have made a concerted effort to counter the exploitation of migrant farmworkers by providing a living wage. Our class' work on this farm is an effort to support these programs.

The face-lift on the barn required the most hands as students extended the roof and replaced the barn door. During the biggest project of the day, students laid the rebar and poured 34 yards of concrete for the barn, under the supervision of NWS Facilities Manager Bob Martin.

Gabriel R. '17, spent much of Thursday, May 18, helping prepare the support beams for the roof extension, which included careful measurements and safely operating various power tools.

Says Gabriel: "It is a great feeling to lend a hand to a place that is making a positive change in their community.