Power To Save: Farm-to-Table Project

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CATAWISSA -- The farm-to-table movement has become more and more trendy, and at a school in Columbia County, students are getting some hands-on lessons in where some of their food comes from.

Tucked away in the courtyard at Southern Columbia Area High School in Catawissa, there are plants and animals everywhere.

It's where ecology students are getting a hands-on approach to learning and where dozens of critters call home.

This courtyard project has been in the works for three years and it's always evolving -- from a fish pond to a chicken coop to a place for our flying friends.

Ashlie Rodgers is a senior at Southern Columbia and part of her project is to build on to the natural habitat for the birds.

"We have grape vines to put in. We're going to have to build trellises for them before we put them in," said Rodgers.

Other students are growing their own greens and sharing them.

"We start early so it's ready to pick before they leave school. We do this with K-12. We invite everyone over, younger kids have beds here and they enjoy salad and fresh foods."

Kristen Vitkauskas is the ecology teacher at the school and tells us this hands-on approach is the way to go, especially in the 21st century.

Students start the school year coming up with an all-natural project idea then make it happen.

"It teaches them to manage their time, work together. They use their own creativity to come up with their thing on their own," said Vitkauskas.

She hopes it only grows from here.

"Only the second year for food growing so we have to get better at it, but that's always something we wanted to put in the cafeteria if we could, so that's a goal for us."

This may be a school project for the ecology students, but also a real-life lesson in the world around them.

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