Recorder: "Four Corners has a Thanksgiving of its own"

By JOSHUA SOLOMON

Recorder Staff

Saturday, October 14, 2017

GREENFIELD — A loud “booyah!” was let out by the student when he saw food still left. He turned to his friends, pointed to the remaining dishes, all based on one crop — squash. They looked at him, sweat dripping down their faces, and their friend bellowed another “booyah!”

As they grabbed their last bites of the evening, after an hour of time running through jungle gyms and football huddles, other students showed off to their friends and families corn stalks where their crops were.

Friday evening at the Discover School at Four Corners, families gathered for the fourth annual Harvest Sampler, the elementary school’s marquee event of the year.

“It’s a simple thing but it’s a fantastic event,” second-grade teacher Mary Ducharme said. “It’s all because we have great staff and great families.”

It’s an event that the whole school community looks forward to every year.

“This is awesome because it’s a little community within Greenfield,” parent Alex Martin said.

The essence of it is in fact very simple: students plant a crop in the spring, when they come back in the fall, they harvest it and then by October they’re ready to start making the food. Then when all the food is prepared, it’s brought for a great feast, outdoors at the school.

“A lot of schools are trying to do more with farm-to-school initiatives,” Four Corners Principal Jake Toomey said.

It’s an exciting way for students to have interdisciplinary learning through a long-term project, Toomey added.

Students come to school with recipes and have to figure out how to multiply out the measurements so that they can serve the proper number of people. They’ll do assignments writing about the crops they’re studying, too.

Kindergarten harvested their apples, first grade had corn, second grade with carrots and fourth grade got squash. When a student was in the grade prior, they planted the crop and then they harvested and studied it this year.

It then all culminates with an event that brings families together with an array of sweet and savory local foods.

“We can really show the fruits of the labor,” Toomey said. “Even though we’re in the most urban town in the county.”

And all the while kids got to try foods ranging from veggie corn chowder to orange honey-glazed carrots, from Ms. Scagel’s kindergarten Apple Sauce to Mrs. Gibbs’ Class Apple Crisp, from pesto potatoes to brown sugar butternut squash bread.

“It’s just a wonderful all-school event, showcasing the agriculture all part of their curriculum,” Four Corners parent and Greenfield High School music teacher Maria Scotera said.

Her three sons played music for the crowd as they do every year, with Luke on the piano, Alex on the cello and Derek on the violin. And while they played, families ran around and caught up with each other, enjoying the harvest’s bounty.

“I like the community feel of this event,” Toomey said. “It’s not sitting quietly watching a performance or looking at work, but it’s really about mingling.”

Reach Joshua Solomon at:

413-772-0261, ext. 264

jsolomon@recorder.com