Riddle Me This
October 4, 2019
Mary Riddle: the woman behind the many farm renovations that have been happening since the summer, and the reason why Hutchison is being more environmentally friendly. She is constantly doing many tasks for the school, both on and off campus, but she is not wellknown among the student body. She is much more than “the farm lady”, but what exactly does she do? Who is Mrs. Riddle?
Mary Riddle is the farm coordinator here at Hutchison. Although people tend to believe that she initiated the farm program at school, she only started working here four years ago while the farm has existed much longer. During those four years, she changed the farm from “just a couple of raised beds” to a learning space with solar panel structures, robots to help root and uproot plants, and various farming techniques. She went about changing the farm for the better by working with donors and architects and making what she envisioned a reality.
She does more than just plant crops all day. She teaches different science topics using the farm for different experiments. Mrs. Riddle is a teacher with one of the biggest classrooms on campus. She explained, “I taught Pre-Kindergarten the scientific method using carrots. I gave them seeds and we used the scientific method to see what color carrots would grow.” She will even begin teaching her own Honors Environmental Science Class next year.
There may be a few students who may not see farming as an ideal job, but that was not true for Riddle. When asked how she developed her passion for farming and being out in nature, she exclaimed, “It all started in high school when I got to go to work on an actual farm in Kansas.”
Students should always feel welcome at the farm — whether it’s for little breaks between classes or for Y blocks… It should be a tool used to help further students’ understanding”
Even though she realizes that everyone may not share her deep love for farming, she hopes that everyone shares a deep connection with the planet. One of her main goals at the school is to make students more focused on the environment and how to fix global issues such as climate change. For example, she has currently teamed up with a company called Indigo Ag and design students from school to start tackling climate change. She has also installed energy gauges in the upper school building with the hope that girls recognize and reduce the amount of energy they use. These projects may seem a bit small now, but they will have a lasting affect not only on campus, but on the rest of the world.
Mary Riddle has had a positive effect on students. Students who have worked with her in the past have called her a blast, and the students who she has taught are always amazed by her immense knowledge of the Earth. She wishes more people would view both herself and the farm as something to embrace just like any other part of the school. She left a message for students saying, “Students should always feel welcome at the farm; whether it’s for little breaks between classes or for Y blocks, and teachers shouldn’t feel forced to add the farm into their curriculum. Instead, it should be a tool used to help further students’ understanding.” Mrs. Riddle highly encourages everyone to come out and utilize the farm, so go introduce yourself and learn a little more about the Earth.