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Nonnewaug High School's Chief News Source

NHS Chief Advocate

Nonnewaug High School's Chief News Source

NHS Chief Advocate

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Farm to Table Class Keeps Giving to NHS Students and Community

Tyler Cremeans
The Farm to Table class harvests different types of lettuce in the greenhouse and donates it at local food banks. Working with the community is one of the many facets of the course.

WOODBURY — Nonnewaug High School has more than 35 electives students can take that do not include core classes like science, math, and English. Within the culinary arts, Farm to Table continues to be one of the most popular electives, a course taught by John Dominello and Leanne Golembeski.

“Students should definitely apply,” said Golembeski, the aquaculture teacher at NHS. “It’s fun, it’s hands-on. You are able to work in the hydroponics side of the greenhouse.”

Within this dynamic course, students learn more than how to just cook with the produce they grow, but they also learn to build complex growing systems to create sustainable living. 

“You get to learn about the system and maintain the system,” Golembeski said. “You get to essentially build the entire system and break it down every single year.” 

Golembeski is in her second year co-teaching the program. She graduated from NHS in 2015 and was excited to take what she learned and apply it to teach aquaculture. 

“I think it’s just an extremely fun elective,” Golembeski said, recalling her own experiences in the field. “I think it gives a lot of hands-on opportunities for students to be able to work together as a team. It really gives students the opportunity for functional mobility skills while also developing critical thinking and problem-solving are a plus to the course itself.”

Golembeski enjoys teaching this elective as the class helps develop necessary cooking skills students need for life beyond high school.

“Not only do [students] work in the hydroponics area, [they] get to work down at the garden and then you are also able to utilize all of the food grown in the class,” Golembeski said. “[Students] are then able to learn different recipes to cook with.”

The beauty of this course is that it blends the two worlds of both agriscience and culinary. This is made possible with co-instructor John Dominello, the culinary teacher at NHS. He also has been teaching the Farm to Table program course for seven years.

“I think that Farm to Table is such an awesome class because it not only can appeal to so many different types of students, but it also provides more than one type of real-world experience,” said Dominello. “We learn everything from how to grow in a greenhouse, how to grow in a soil  garden, how to maintain plants, learn how to harvest, and then lastly how to cook with them.”

Dominello loves this course because anybody can take it and students always find something interesting in the course. Students also gain an added sense of gratification knowing that what they create is enjoyed by more than just those on campus. 

[The course is also involved] in community service as we bring a lot of the products to the food bank and then we sell them to teachers to show them what a great job our students do,” said Dominello. “It’s a real-world experience that can be applied in the student’s life.”

Whenever Farm to Table makes food for teachers or guests, students say it brings them a sense of accomplishment.

“I enjoy doing it because it makes people happy and spreads happiness,” said Haylee Molina, an advanced culinary student. “When you are able to cook or make things for other people who can’t. I enjoy making food for other people because it is easier to share with them.” 

About the Contributor
Arabella Rosa '25
Arabella Rosa '25, Reporter
Arabella Rosa is a junior and a first-year writer for the Chief Advocate. She is from Watertown and is currently studying aquaculture in the agriscience program. Since she was 5, she's loved everything about cooking, and after she graduates from Nonnewaug she wants to become a professional chef and have a German shepherd. Rosa is also part of the NHS softball team and girls basketball team. During her free time, she enjoys hanging out with friends, watching sunsets, and cooking or baking for friends and family.
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