About Berry Good Farms
North Florida School of Special Education’s Transition students and Post-Graduates have embarked on a new horticulture journey to provide the greater Jacksonville community with organic fruits, vegetables and herbs grown right here at NFSSE on our campus farm, Berry Good Farms.
Our Berry Good Farms vision is to provide sustainable food in an ecological manner through the training of our Transition Students and the compensated employment of our Post-Graduates, who continue to strive for independence and productivity in the community.
Berry Good Farms is authorized to accept WIC, SNAP, and EBT at the farm and mobile market.
The Post-Graduate program at North Florida School of Special Education is a multi-faceted vocational training program supported by Berry Good Farms, and is offered to students 20+ years of age.
Post-Graduates at NFSSE have the opportunity to structure their enrollment to best accommodate their work and individual schedules. The program offers varying levels of commitment, ranging from participation one day per weekday week to five days per weekday.
Our desire for the Post-Graduates enrolled at NFSSE is that through our offered programs, they strengthen their vocational, independent living and social skills to improve their function in the community at large.
Through Berry Good Farms and its portfolio of enrichment programs, Post-Graduates at North Florida School of Special Education receive instruction in Horticulture, Landscaping, Grounds Keeping, Culinary Arts, as well as through the BGF microenterprises, Berry Good Farms On The Go and Barkin’ Biscuits.
Post-Graduates enrolled in Horticulture work in the 30×60 greenhouse and learn to cultivate wheatgrass, microgreens and veggie start trays for wholesale and retail customers. They are also responsible for planting seasonal vegetables and herbs, maintaining the garden and harvesting for use in both the Culinary Arts program and Berry Good Farms On The Go. Our Horticulture students also participate in keeping the growing towers, hydroponic table and aquaponics tanks clean and functioning.
Our Landscaping and Grounds Keeping Post-Graduates diligently maintain the school grounds, farm and interior of the school to keep our campus pristine. They work with our Farm and Grounds Keeping Staff to learn the proper handling of tools and equipment, stressing the importance of safety, organization and efficiency.
The Culinary Arts program focuses on selecting nutritious menus, shopping for items and creating recipes that utilize the farm’s seasonal produce tended to and harvested by the Horticulture team. Culinary Arts Post-Graduates learn to plan and prepare Healthy! Beautiful! Delicious! meals that will both aide in vocational opportunities within the community and strengthen independent living skills. Read More
Berry Good Farms On The Go brings Berry Good Farms out into the community in the form of a “farm-to-truck” vocational training program for our Post-Graduates. BGF On The Go showcases a healthy and fresh-from-the-farm menu. Post-Graduates on the food truck are holistically involved in its success through shopping, prepping and preparing the food, and finally, serving customers. Read More
Barkin’ Biscuits, our all-natural dog treat baking operation, launched in July of 2014 as a pilot program at North Florida School of Special Education’s Berry Good Farms. Barkin’ Biscuits come in a variety of flavors and incorporate fresh ingredients from Berry Good Farms, including wheatgrass, sweet potato, carrot, mint and rosemary. Our Barkin’ Biscuits chefs who lovingly create these all-natural dog treats for our furry friends around Northeast Florida learn to follow recipes, mix ingredients, roll and cut the dough, bake the treats, weigh and package for retail market and prepare custom orders. Read More
Post-Graduates can opt in to participate in weekly enrichment activities with the Transition students, including classes in the school’s art department and through a variety of NFSSE’s volunteer outreach projects such as Gate River Run, Salvation Army and the 26.2 with Donna.