The Food, Farming and Social Change capstone experience is an active, year-long, real-world-applicable exploration of sustainability, food, and community both in our larger society and on our own campus.
As they learn to think critically about the ways we cook, eat, and live in the world during the first semester seminar, students will apply these new understandings to our lives at HPA, and imagine innovative projects to help this campus connect better to our food, our land, our community and our planet.
These capstone projects push students to be resourceful, creative, self-directed, and organized. Students learn to be professional, courteous and clear in real-world communication, resilient in the face of obstacles and negative feedback, and inventive within the time and budget constraints they encounter over the semester. Having envisioned, planned, and executed a creative small-scale local solution to a global problem will help FFSC students stand out on resumes and college applications, but, more importantly, it will teach them to make something happen -- to turn a good idea into a reality.
What is Food, Farming and Social Change?
Semester One: DIScover, experience, UNDERSTAND
In the fall seminar, Eating in the USA: The History, Economy, Philosophy, and Reality of Food and Farming in America, you will explore the crucial role of the farm in the life of a community through readings, discussions, films, field trips, and visits from local chefs, farmers, entrepreneurs, and farm and food activists who come to talk and cook with us. You will be asked to brainstorm ideas for your spring capstone projects by the end of your first month in the seminar. By the end of quarter one, you will have narrowed your prospects down to two or three ideas, and contacted the individuals in the HPA and/or larger island community who you think might be willing to assist you or serve on your evaluating committee. The semester final will be a detailed outline and timeline of your Capstone project idea, which will identify both your projected outcome and the milestones you will meet over the course of the spring as you work toward that outcome. You will also have made agreements with your committee of experts/adults/evaluators before the school lets out for winter break. You can choose to collaborate in groups of up to four, or to create projects that you think you will be able to manage on their own.
Semester Two: CREATE, REALIZE, LEAVE YOUR LEGACY
In the spring capstone project phase, you and your partner(s) will use what you’ve learned to actualize and document the project idea you developed in the fall, establishing something unique that will continue to grow and benefit your school and your island home after you have moved on. The projects are a way for you to establish a meaningful legacy at HPA, helping our farm/garden program move toward sustainability in the truest sense. As you construct and implement each phase of your project, you will be asked to consider how you are changing HPA for the better in a way that future students, faculty, and staff can continue to support and benefit from.