Berry Good Farms is the horticulture division of the school and offers students and post-graduates, 18 - 40 years of age, the opportunity to have hands-on training in horticulture studies, culinary arts, aquaponics, and production of agricultural goods. The school's onsite farm began in 2010 in order to offer students additional vocational training, better nutritional options, as well as independent living skills training through urban farming instruction. Students are involved in all aspects of the farming process from planting of seeds and young plants to maintaining and nurturing of vegetables, fruits and herbs, and finally, harvesting of the produce.
Because of the success of our horticulture and culinary programs at NFSSE, the next step for vocational training was to purchase and operate a food truck in and around our community. Once a culinary arts training program is completed, our students are serving as the food truck's employees. Students who are currently enrolled in the Culinary Arts program are given priority as candidates for the mobile program. The students exceeding expectations in the culinary training program move directly into service on the food truck, working alongside our Food Truck Manager, a culinary graduate chef.
Berry Good Farms On The Go includes three areas of vocational training and marketable employment opportunities: 1) daily food preparation; 2) production of agricultural goods for sale in the community, such as dried herb mixes and muffins; and 3) working on the food truck in the community for lunch service and special events. Training for students interested in the culinary arts includes instruction on menu planning, shopping for necessary ingredients, cooking methods, small appliance operation, safe food handling, utilizing fresh produce for recipes, cutting skills, general food prep and measuring of ingredients for recipes. Training for students also includes instruction on preparing individual bags of fresh produce which are sold to customers in the community. The bags of fresh produce are on the food truck at specified locations, offering customers a one-stop shopping opportunity. Students whose instruction focuses on the production of goods for sale on the food truck and at community events are learning to create dipping sauces, dressing mixes, and dip mixes using ingredients from the farm. The production team will learn to dry herbs, fruits and vegetables using a food dehydrator; mix ingredients and prepare baked goods such as muffins; and prepare pesto and hummus using ingredients from Berry Good Farms. All production items will be sold on the food truck, offering another avenue of revenues for the project. Each student in the program will be instructed on proper customer service and relations.
By providing future employment, NFSSE is able to control the environment and broaden opportunities which best suit and best utilize the various skills of our student/post-graduate population. Berry Good Farms On The Go partners with businesses, corporations, festivals, other non-profits, schools and private events in the community to maximize the success of the project.
Berry Good Farms On The Go is the only food truck in our community that offers delicious lunch items prepared with produce grown and freshly harvested by our students. Produce bags filled with seasonal, organic vegetables, herbs and fruits, along with take-away agricultural goods such as fresh herb mixes and baked goods are offered for sale each week. Participants are continuously gaining knowledge and skills in on-trend, marketable opportunities through their training.
Why the community will support a school-operated food truck...
Please follow our social media for food truck schedules, along with the JaxTruckies website’s daily posting. We look forward to serving you! Questions or to schedule the food truck for your event, contact Ellen Hiser, Director of Berry Good Farms, (904) 724-8323 or firstname.lastname@example.org