Highpoint Programs

Hillcrest Students Sell Their Crops at the Farmers Market!

The boys in Hillcrest’s Highpoint program have a regular schedule of classes, just like any other student. They have math and English classes, they participate in science fairs, and they have horticulture with Mr. George Inman as part of their regular curriculum. Some days this takes them to the greenhouse, and in the warm summer months, they’re out tending the vegetable garden. 

The students who really enjoy and excel in the program also have opportunities outside of class to get more involved, both in the greenhouse and garden as well as in the kitchen. And now, students can attend the Pittsfield Farmers Market and sell the veggies they’re growing.

Getting Started

The idea for the farmers market was planted by senior management. After discussion amongst management and Mr. Inman about how it would work, and with the help of Mountain One sponsoring the table, the students attended their first farmers market on Saturday, August 6. 

This year, Mr. Inman and the students doubled their crops in anticipation of the market. These crops include yellow squash, zucchini, green beans, yellow wax beans, kale, red and green cabbages, red and white onions, cucumbers, rhubarb, cherry tomatoes, and assorted peppers from bell peppers to banana peppers, habanero, jalapeno, and red hot cherry peppers. 

An Opportunity to Develop New Skills

While the garden program has always been a great way to learn gardening skills, as well as soft skills in problem solving, teamwork, and critical thinking, selling the vegetables at the farmers market offers a whole new host of skills for the students to practice. Selling vegetables is a fantastic way to experience working as a vendor, and Mr. Inman hopes that it will be a good way for students to get their foot in the door for future careers. The hands-on experience working in the community is also invaluable.

Mr. Iman says, “I think it’s important to see how the kids deal with people who aren’t trained as [Hillcrest staff] are to assist them with decision making. It’ll be good to see them just do it on their own, interact with different types of people.”

They Sold Out!

Ultimately, the students’ first weekend at the farmers market was a success, selling out of all their produce and most of the houseplants. Their beans in particular sold quickly! Everyone is looking forward to a successful garden season. 

If you’d like to support the Highpoint boys, you can find them at the Pittsfield Farmers Market on Saturdays in the Pittsfield Common from 9 to 1. 

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*****These interview answers have been lightly edited and condensed*****

We’re looking for dynamic, compassionate people to join our team! Check out our career openings. We’re waiting to hear from you. 

Don’t forget to read our interview with Jolene Soules, Activities Assistant at Highpoint.

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