College or School
Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems
Faculty Research Advisor
Waterbury is one of the oldest and most iconic urban communities in Connecticut. Over the years the city has seen a significant collapse in their economy and food security. A local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Non-Profit Organization, Brass City Harvest, was founded to support the city’s food security through organizing year-long farmer’s markets and producing products at their own facilities for food pantries in the city.
Since its formation Brass City Harvest has grown and within the next year (summer and fall school year of 2016) will be expanding to offer more outreach experiences to Waterbury citizen’s and the surrounding communities. The goal of this project is to design an outreach program to support, sustain and grow the Greater Waterbury area’s agriculture future. With the support of the Brass City Harvest Team and Waterbury Public School administrators the OASIS handbook and curriculum was developed and presents information on geographic target areas and populations within the city, a wide-raging curriculum lesson plan set, and methods to evaluate each lesson. The curriculum has been designed to be administered by the Brass City Harvest Outreach Team, including myself, to provide innovative nutritional guidance and generate meaningful community service opportunities to: 1) the general public, 2) Waterbury Public School students, 3) participating Global Leadership Initiative summer service interns from Taft School in Watertown, CT, and 4) state-wide National FFA Organization chapters.
OASIS is a pilot program designed to be able to be modified as necessary based on the results of assessments done after the lesson’s completion by the instructor and third party evaluators connected with the Waterbury Public School System and Taft Global Leadership Initiative counselors.
This project will become Brass City Harvest’s pilot curriculum handbook to provide an accurate plan to follow and implement at Farmer’s Markets, presentation in Waterbury Public School Health Classes and summer programs provided by Brass City Harvest to the general public and school students. Ultimately, it is my sincere wish that this curriculum will provide an avenue for Waterbury citizens to partake in their food system and strive to build an “oasis” in their “food desert.”
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Gorman, Kathleen R., "OASIS - Optimal Agriculture Skills Initiative for Students" (2016). Undergraduate Research Conference (URC) Student Presentations. 5.