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Westport Farm Launches Apprentice Program for Kids

WESTPORT, Conn. – Playing in the dirt is OK at Westport’s Wakeman Town Farm . In fact, it’s encouraged — so much so that the farm has created an after-school apprentice program for Westport middle school students.

Starting in February, students with a green thumb or an interest in learning how to farm can get their hands dirty during a hands-on four-month session, the Wakeman Town Farm Committee has announced.

Students will be encouraged to design, prepare and plant gardens at the farm. They’ll also learn about garden planning, seed starting and planting as well as garden preparation and maintenance. Sustainable farm practices such as composting and renewable energies are also in the curriculum.

“This is a unique opportunity for students to learn about science and nature outside of the typical school environment in what we like to call ‘nature’s classroom,’” the committee said in a statement.

Farmers raise a variety of animals, so the students will also help care for the farm's animals, including chickens, rabbits and even bees.

Staples High School environmental science teacher and Wakeman Town Farm steward Michael Aitkenhead will lead the program, which kicks off Feb. 22 and will be held most Thursdays through June 28. The program costs $175.

Registration is open. To register your child, send a check made payable to Town of Westport with Wakeman Town Farm in the memo field, to: Wakeman Town Farm, 134 Cross Highway, Westport, CT 06880.

For more information about the apprentice program, call 203-557-9195 or send an email to wakemantownfarm@gmail.com .

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