When a teacher at Molly Ockett School in Fryeburg approached the superintendent about using agriculture to teach kids, she was given the go ahead.
Third and fourth graders are in their first year of the ABLE program, also known as Agricultural Based Learning Environment. Lessons inside the classroom including how to balance a farm budget. Outside is where they get their hands dirty in garden beds: planting, shoveling compost and harvesting crops.
"We're planting a lot of different things," said 10-year-old Clinton Trussell. "Radishes, we planted garlic, we're planting marigold, beans."
Nineteen students took part in the ABLE program this year. A class created by Christina Littlefield. She wanted to teach her students in a way that would get them interested in learning.
"Went to the superintendent and I said I really wanted a different way for kids to learn because not every kid fits you know the round into the square peg and so I came up with this process and he said lets give it a try," said Littlefield.
ABLE has used agriculture to teach math, reading, writing and science. Local farms have also taken part to show the students a larger operation. Kathy Sherman, owner of Sherman Farm, loves to see the enthusiasm from students who get excited to learn about agriculture.
"It is so important for kids to learn about where there food comes from," said Sherman. "There are many generations who are removed from where their food supply comes from. Many people think that their food supply comes from the grocery store, but in order for that food to get to the grocery store you have to come to the farmer first."
Students have used their harvested crops to cook and prepare meals. A beef stew, tomato sauce, mashed potato and even smoothies.
"The cooking is very good and it's really fun to make," said Trussell.
The ABLE class plans on adding livestock to the curriculum next year. Incubating chicken eggs and raising the the baby chicks that hatch.