Our classroom is the beautiful Topaz Farm on Sauvie Island. We offer school field trips, summer camps, and opportunities for kids and their parents to dig in and learn about food, farming, and the land together as a family. And since Topaz is open for u-pick, outdoor concerts, farm-to-plate dinners and more, there are many opportunities for families to come back again and again.
Shari Raider, the farmer/owner of Sauvie Island Organics, (now Sauvie Island Growers) founded the Center in 2005 in response to frequent requests for farm tours she received from local schools. Our hands-on, farm-based curriculum was developed through a partnership between farmers, educators, and culinary professionals, including our co-founder and James Beard award-winning chef Cory Schreiber.
Designed to make use of our unique site, the curriculum includes the exploration and study of a dynamic 130 acre working farm, our Grow Lunch Garden, and many exciting new attractions such as a turtle habitat restoration project, a Food Forest and so much more. In 2014 we partnered with Portland State University’s Center for Science Education and Portland’s Metro STEM partnership to align our curriculum with Next Generation Science Standards. Now students participating in field trips to the Sauvie Island Center will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the link between plant structure and its function and how human agricultural impacts earth systems.