project leader
Rachel B
776 State Route 58
(Allegheny-Clarion Valley School District)
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The Farm a Community Built

the project

Starting with a small section of raised beds, a neglected 2-acre grassy area between the school access road and the staff parking lot will be transformed into a space for the entire community. Over the next 3 years, the project will culminate with a combination of raised beds, row cropping, livestock, silviculture, and conservation, providing a supply of fresh food to the ACV cafeterias and the local community. The farm will be integrated into school curriculum as well as extracurricular activities and will provide opportunities for the community and school to come together to create beneficial change.

Phase 1 of construction includes a living compass composed of raised garden beds and a rain garden, a wooded nature trail, and walking paths through the garden.

the steps

  • Build (4) 4’x8’ raised garden beds and (4) 4’x12’ raised garden beds
  • Build a rain garden
  • Create a living compass by arranging the raised beds as compass points and creating the focal point of the Phase 1 garden
  • Bring in gravel to construct paths through the garden
  • Encourage the community to be active
  • Promote health and nature

why we're doing it

A bright, beautiful space, growing and alive. Students and teachers explore each aspect of plant life, from germination to fruit, harvest, and even table. Community members stop by to lend a hand or pick up some fresh produce. The connection between the food we eat and where it comes from is rebuilt. Daily life is a little brighter, healthier, and more fun. This is the vision behind the AC Valley Community Farm.

Your contribution is valued and will help us to:

  • Convert an unused space into a community asset
  • Build partnerships between the school and other local organizations
  • Provide educational opportunities
  • Engage with students and families outside of the traditional school setting
  • Supply healthy food to students and the community


Disbursed Budget 6.22.2021

Item Cost
Rain Barrel $90
Garden Cart $100
Tools (watering cans, hose, pruners, etc.) $200
Plastic Fencing $60
Tomato Cages $50
PVC Pipe for hoops to protect beds $100
Starter Plants $63
Total $663

= $663.48, total to disburse

TOTAL RAISED = $684.00
ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%) N/A
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $20.52

Original Budget: 

  • 4 4’x8’ raised beds (concrete blocks) $400
  • 4 4’x12’ raised beds (concrete blocks) $600
  • Rain garden $50
  • Garden soil (tri-axle load of soil+compost mix) $330
  • Garden shed $1000
  • PVC pipe for hoops to protect beds $100
  • PVC pipe cutter $15
  • Pipe connectors $80
  • Plastic fencing $60
  • Netting clamps $175
  • Straw bales $105
  • Rain barrel $90
  • Tools (watering cans, hose, pruners, etc.) $200
  • Tomato cages $50
  • Garden cart $100
  • Starter plants $365

ioby Platform Fee $35
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%)
(Donation processing fee does not apply to match funding.)

Please note: ioby fees are estimated and will be calculated based on totals at the end of the campaign.


The Farm a Community Built

From The Progress News, May 11, 2021 Issue

More than a year and a half ago, Dr. David McDeavitt and I had a dream: to create a space on school grounds that would allow everyone from our community to come together, sleeves up, working and learning and growing. Public school, home school, or well beyond school-aged – it wouldn’t matter. This would be a place the whole community could call their own, a place to share and learn skills, knowledge, and perspective while raising healthy, delicious food for all to enjoy.

This coming Saturday, May 15th, the first phase of our school farm dream is finally coming to life, and we hope you’ll join us to celebrate! We don’t know what the weather will bring, but we are sure that spirits will be high as we cut the ribbon and officially open our fledgling farm to the community.

We’ve managed to raise just over $400 through our online crowdfunding campaign and an additional $450 directly from local businesses, and that, together with donations of supplies as well as time and labor from volunteers, has been enough to build the entire raised bed area, with 300SF of planting space, and start the woodland trail! I am so grateful for everyone’s support, and I would like to take a moment to thank those who have generously donated to this school farm project so far.

To the entire A-C Valley School Board: without your belief in our efforts, and the permission to use two acres of school land, we would not have a project at all! I cannot thank you enough. To the individuals who have donated online, as well as Central Electric Co-op, Linmas Drugs, and Divani Chocolatier: your funds have gone directly to completing the toolshed and raised bed area and will allow our community farmers to grow a bumper crop for this year’s harvest.

A huge thank you to Warren Thomas of Baytree Farm, whose raised bed donation got this whole thing started, to Gibson Farm and Mirakai Farm for their donations of soil and lumber, and to the Krileys of Cherry Valley and the Hunts of Emlenton for their donations of seedlings. Together, your generosity cut our material costs in half for the raised bed area!

I certainly could not have gotten this far all by myself, so I want to give a very special thank you to those who donated their time and physical labor to helping this farm get off the ground. Rachel Brosnahan, Sarah Reynolds, Sara Buzard, Lisa McKenzie, Jarred Heuer, Eric Pedi, Matt Brosnahan, and Pat Kriley: you’ve hauled thousands of pounds of block, lumber, and dirt, forged a path through a jungle of brambles, cleared fallen trees, wrangled obstinate garden sheds, and been my brainstorming and troubleshooting team. Dr. McDeavitt and ACVSD’s Mark Milford and James Best: you have believed in this project and supported us every step of the way. YOU have made this all possible. Without all of you, there would be no farm. Much love and mad respect.

I want to thank all of you for believing in the power of community gardens, and anyone who would like to help or donate still can! We will have summer volunteer forms at the ribbon-cutting. We still have more to build to completely finish Phase One, and there are two more phases to go before the school farm realizes its full potential. There’s plenty of work ahead of us, but we’ve made a strong start. I do hope you will join us at 1 pm on May 15th to see and celebrate the results!

Building has begun!

With the help of a handful of volunteers, the garden is beginning to take shape! The wooden beds are set and leveled, and the bases for the block beds are in place.

Next up: Finishing the rest of the beds and filling them with dirt!

Official Launch Scheduled

Join us on Saturday, May 15th from 1-3pm to celebrate the official opening of Phase One of the AC Valley School Farm! Phase One of this project includes raised garden beds, a frog pond, and a woodland trail, and plans for the second and third phases of the Farm will be on display as well. 

The ribbon-cutting ceremony will start promptly at 1pm, rain or shine, and will be followed up with seedling planting, a tour of the site, talks about permaculture and local food systems, as well as opportunities to sign up to volunteer with the School Farm over the summer. For those who would like to support the Farm and get some amazing swag at the same time, we will have t-shirts, caps, and totes available, all thanks to the amazing folks at Amazing Stitches!


This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous
  • Jess S.
  • Carrie Armagost
  • Betty S.
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  • Don Best & Ellen Garbuny
  • K. Parks
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