Published in the Half Moon Bay Review on June 14th.
Sea Crest students ground learning at farmers market. By Sara Hayden.
Out of the fog came sparks of color at Sea Crest School — blushing nectarines and cherries, blue hydrangeas in mason jars and purple eggplants no bigger than a palm. With the sharp tang of garlic in the air, first-graders gathered on a cool Friday morning to manage their school’s annual Box Town Market and sell their wares.
It was the last event of their social studies unit. They had rolled up their sleeves and dug into the dirt, planting fresh lettuce, beets and carrots, connecting the food on their tables to the ground in which it’s grown, as well as others who would eat it.
“It’s all about self and how we fit into the world,” teacher Stephanie Hanepen said. “We talk about what makes Half Moon Bay such a unique community to live in … We talk about seeds, planting, weeding, watering, harvesting.”
“They get a grip on and an exposure to one of the things I see as one of the miracles of the world,” said Coastside Farmers Market manager and Half Moon Bay Farmer of the Year Erin Tormey, who had the honor of cutting a ribbon to kick off the event. “It’s such a holistic, healthy thing … There’s work involved, there’s science, there’s effort and attention. I think they get that early on.”
Students managing such stands as Baking & Taking (selling gluten-free baked goods, hummus and Sea Crest-grown lettuce) and Awesome Everything (boasting duct tape wallets and packs of handmade greeting cards) carefully counted dollar bills and quarters in exchange for their homegrown goods.
They donated proceeds to support Market Match, an incentive program for people to buy wholesome foods.
First-grader Autumn Seaborn showed off fresh apricots, leeks, plums and pumpkin bread.
“Everyone wants peaches,” said Seaborn, working quickly to meet queuing customers’ demands.
“It was really fun,” Paxton Holden chimed in. “When we first planted, it was really small, but then it gets really big, and it’s surprising.”
Ashleigh Evans was also proud of what she had grown with her business partners.
“I feel awesome because we grew all this for a while,” Evans said. “I hope people like the taste of them.”