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Planting Seeds for the Future: BCCS Students Prepare for the Wheatley Farms Harvest Festival and Beyond

Soon hundreds of visitors will enjoy a pumpkin patch, carving station, and other festive fall activities at the upcoming Wheatley Farms Harvest Festival on Saturday, Sept. 30, from 9 a.m.–4 p.m. in Brookville.

Earlier this summer, students throughout BCCS’ Children’s Education Center were learning hands on at Wheatley Farms, planting the very pumpkins that will be harvested this fall. Thirty classes of students, ranging in age from preschool to 21 took part in the planting, while connecting with horticultural staff at Wheatley Farms.

A BCCS Student shows off his plant for the Harvest Festival“Everyone likes to create impact. When the students return from their August break, they re-visit the pumpkin patch and begin the transition from summer to fall and all it has to offer,” shared Denise Gaughan, Director of the Children’s Education Center.

Wheatley Farms is located next door to the Children’s Education Center with opportunities for the students to take part in hands-on learning, including transitional curriculum for adolescent students sure to grow in 2024 and beyond. Gaughan continued, “It’s an amazing opportunity for our students.”

Throughout the pumpkin planting demonstration, faces were filled with excitement and curiosity. Their teachers assisted students in putting the soil into the pots and making the holes for the seeds.  Each class was given three types of pumpkin seeds and learned how to plant and nurture the plant before bringing them back to their classrooms.

Assistant Farm Manager Kimberly Nistal provided students with activity sheets to complete with their teachers. Each week they were encouraged to document the changes they were seeing in their plants. After a couple of weeks, students were thrilled to see bright green leaves pop out of the soil.

After about six weeks of care and maintenance, the classes returned to the farm to transplant their pumpkins to the farm’s soil. Now, horticultural staff will tend the pumpkins until they mature and are ready for harvest. The hope is for the students to see their pumpkins take center stage at the Harvest Festival.

To learn more about the Harvest Festival and how to participate:

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