To most Westporters, Wakeman Town Farm means locally grown food, a flourishing garden and friendly animals. But Wakeman is about a lot more than green living and composting; they’re here to foster relationships with students.
The farm is always coming up with interesting ways to engage children. The main mode of contact the farm currently holds with students is through their daily activities. Ranging from Fresh Farm Baking for Tweens to Tiny Masters art classes–the farm is always occupied with students of all ages.
Two girls engage in a cooking class at Wakeman. Photo by Ashley Armstrong Skatoff
In addition, various camps are hosted at the farm during February, spring and summer break. Camps like Junior Chef Summer Camp and Farm Appreciation Program bring returning elementary, middle and preschoolers back to the farm along with counselors from Staples.
Student volunteers from the National Charity League (NCL) and Service League of Boys regularly pop in, adding to the livelihood of the farm. Elle Desmarteau ’22 is one of many students who give back to the community by completing various tasks in the garden through NCL.
Boys from SLOBS volunteer at Wakeman's annual "Family Fun Day." Photo by Ashley Armstrong Skatoff
“It really connects you and who you’re working with because you’re both working hard and interacting with nature” Desmarteau said. “It’s a fun and wholesome experience.”
Despite the many volunteers, the farm is still looking for more student involvement. Christy Colasurdo, Co-Chair Emeritus and Events Director welcomes kids with an open heart and encourages them to visit, being conveniently located next to both Bedford and Staples.
“We feel like the farm is a backyard to the schools, kids can just walk over and volunteer,” Colasurdo said.
The farm has recently been working with middle schoolers that have made efforts to start composting more. The farm is also happy to host any other student-run projects.
If any kid were to come to the farm with an idea, the staff would find a way to make it work. The farm has adopted and owned this laid back vibe, as they are very open-minded.
“We want to help kids with whatever it is that makes them excited about being creative,” Colasurdo said. “We don’t tell you what you should do, or how you should live your life[...]we show you all the things you can do.”