Meet Alder Feroce and Marisa Sitz. Alder joined Jones Valley as a Teaching Farm Fellow in 2016 and was stationed at Phillips Academy and our Downtown Campus. Alder accepted the Instructor position at Glen Iris Elementary in 2017. Marisa started working at Glen Iris Elementary School in the spring of 2019 as a Title I tutor and assists Alder with lesson delivery and farm maintenance. Fun fact: both Alder and Marisa are residents of the Glen Iris neighborhood!
What makes your Teaching Farm unique?
Alder: Our Teaching Farm at Glen Iris is unique because it encircles the playground, making it a part of students daily school experience.
Marisa: Farmer Alder has done so much to care for the students and the site. Alder works to involve every student in every grade level and collaborates with teachers for new explorations and experiences. I truly believe the dedication and love that Alder has for Glen Iris has helped it grow into a very special Teaching Farm.
What is your favorite farm task?
A: Harvesting because then we either get to eat it or give it away!
M: I could weed and cultivate all day! I enjoy getting into the dirt and being available to answer student questions about what I’m doing or to show them some cool new insect I found!
What is something you learned while developing lessons that you didn’t know before?
A: Bees can flap their wings up to 200 times a second!
What is the best recipe you have ever cooked with students?
M: Our teachers and students are particularly fond of the pinto bean dip I make. It’s super tasty with vegetables from the farm!
Is there a unique crop that you plan to grow this year? What is it and why is it exciting?
A: We have an interesting variety of cucumber growing right now, that you have to peel like a potato to eat!
What is your favorite pollinator?
A: I love bees, and I have been spreading my love of bees since I got here.
M: Bees! I love hearing students say “Thank you, Bee!” when they see them instead of swatting at them and running away.