Encinitas Union School District trustees OK Farm Lab expansion


Jimbo’s grocery chain is among the sponsors of Encinitas Union School Distirct’s Farm Lab. (EUSD Farm Lab photo)

The Encinitas Union School District’s Farm Lab recently received the green light to expand after a Board of Trustees vote, the district announced April 30.

The district aims to finish the installation of two repurposed portable buildings on Farm Lab’s 10-acre site at 441 Quail Gardens Drive in Encinitas, according to the announcement. The program’s original four classrooms were built in 2014.

“Our students, teachers and parent volunteers have loved their visits to Farm Lab,” district Superintendent Tim Baird said in the announcement. “The number one request that we hear is that they would like to visit more often. By adding additional classrooms, we can now offer our schools more opportunities to visit Farm Lab.”

In addition to instruction, the added facilities will allow space for instructor professional development, Baird said.

Farm Lab’s original development came through funds from Proposition P, an Encinitas district facilities bond measure passed by voters in 2010. Expansion of Farm Lab was delayed for a time, however.

“We first needed to ensure that all of the projects at our nine schools were completed before we expanded Farm Lab,” Board of Trustees President Marla Strich explained in the district’s announcement. “We finished that work this last summer. All schools have been modernized, they have been made more energy efficient, and where needed, new classrooms were added. We were then ready to return our focus to Farm Lab.”

Farm Lab — developed to support the district’s Design, Research, Engineering, Art, Math and Science educational framework (DREAMS) — provides hands-on learning experiences for students in kindergarten through sixth grade, according to the district. The program also serves as an organic farm feeding the 5,400-student district a daily supply of fresh ingredients at campus salad bars.